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  1. Abstract

    High-spatial-resolution observations of CO isotopologue line emission in protoplanetary disks at mid-inclinations (≈30°–75°) allow us to characterize the gas structure in detail, including radial and vertical substructures, emission surface heights and their dependencies on source characteristics, and disk temperature profiles. By combining observations of a suite of CO isotopologues, we can map the two-dimensional (r,z) disk structure from the disk upper atmosphere, as traced by CO, to near the midplane, as probed by less abundant isotopologues. Here, we present high-angular-resolution (≲0.″1 to ≈0.″2; ≈15–30 au) observations of CO,13CO, and C18O in either or bothJ= 2–1 andJ= 3–2 lines in the transition disks around DM Tau, Sz 91, LkCa 15, and HD 34282. We derived line emission surfaces in CO for all disks and in13CO for the DM Tau and LkCa 15 disks. With these observations, we do not resolve the vertical structure of C18O in any disk, which is instead consistent with C18O emission originating from the midplane. Both theJ= 2–1 andJ= 3–2 lines show similar heights. Using the derived emission surfaces, we computed radial and vertical gas temperature distributions for each disk, including empirical temperature models for the DM Tau and LkCa 15 disks. After combining our sample with literature sources, we find that13CO line emitting heights are also tentatively linked with source characteristics, e.g., stellar host mass, gas temperature, disk size, and show steeper trends than seen in CO emission surfaces.

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  2. Abstract We present the complete sample of protoplanetary disks from the Gemini- Large Imaging with the Gemini Planet Imager Herbig/T Tauri Survey, which observed bright Herbig Ae/Be stars and T Tauri stars in near-infrared polarized light to search for signatures of disk evolution and ongoing planet formation. The 44 targets were chosen based on their near- and mid-infrared colors, with roughly equal numbers of transitional, pre-transitional, and full disks. Our approach explicitly did not favor well-known, “famous” disks or those observed by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, resulting in a less-biased sample suitable to probe the major stages of disk evolution during planet formation. Our optimized data reduction allowed polarized flux as low as 0.002% of the stellar light to be detected, and we report polarized scattered light around 80% of our targets. We detected point-like companions for 47% of the targets, including three brown dwarfs (two confirmed, one new), and a new super-Jupiter-mass candidate around V1295 Aql. We searched for correlations between the polarized flux and system parameters, finding a few clear trends: the presence of a companion drastically reduces the polarized flux levels, far-IR excess correlates with polarized flux for nonbinary systems, and systems hosting disks with ring structures have stellar masses <3 M ⊙ . Our sample also included four hot, dusty “FS CMa” systems, and we detected large-scale ( >100 au) scattered light around each, signs of extreme youth for these enigmatic systems. Science-ready images are publicly available through multiple distribution channels using a new FITS file standard that has been jointly developed with members of the Very Large Telescope Spectro-polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research team. 
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  3. Abstract High spatial resolution CO observations of midinclination (≈30°–75°) protoplanetary disks offer an opportunity to study the vertical distribution of CO emission and temperature. The asymmetry of line emission relative to the disk major axis allows for a direct mapping of the emission height above the midplane, and for optically thick, spatially resolved emission in LTE, the intensity is a measure of the local gas temperature. Our analysis of Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array archival data yields CO emission surfaces, dynamically constrained stellar host masses, and disk atmosphere gas temperatures for the disks around the following: HD 142666, MY Lup, V4046 Sgr, HD 100546, GW Lup, WaOph 6, DoAr 25, Sz 91, CI Tau, and DM Tau. These sources span a wide range in stellar masses (0.50–2.10 M ⊙ ), ages (∼0.3–23 Myr), and CO gas radial emission extents (≈200–1000 au). This sample nearly triples the number of disks with mapped emission surfaces and confirms the wide diversity in line emitting heights ( z / r ≈ 0.1 to ≳0.5) hinted at in previous studies. We compute the radial and vertical CO gas temperature distributions for each disk. A few disks show local temperature dips or enhancements, some of which correspond to dust substructures or the proposed locations of embedded planets. Several emission surfaces also show vertical substructures, which all align with rings and gaps in the millimeter dust. Combining our sample with literature sources, we find that CO line emitting heights weakly decline with stellar mass and gas temperature, which, despite large scatter, is consistent with simple scaling relations. We also observe a correlation between CO emission height and disk size, which is due to the flared structure of disks. Overall, CO emission surfaces trace ≈2–5× gas pressure scale heights (H g ) and could potentially be calibrated as empirical tracers of H g . 
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  4. null (Ed.)

    We present multi-instrument observations of the disc around the Herbig Ae star, HD 145718, employing geometric and Monte Carlo radiative transfer models to explore the disc orientation, the vertical and radial extent of the near-infrared (NIR) scattering surface, and the properties of the dust in the disc surface and sublimation rim. The disc appears inclined at 67–71°, with position angle, PA = −1.0 to 0.6°, consistent with previous estimates. The NIR scattering surface extends out to ${\sim}75\,$ au and we infer an aspect ratio, hscat(r)/r ∼ 0.24 in J band; ∼0.22 in H band. Our Gemini Planet Imager images and VLTI + CHARA NIR interferometry suggest that the disc surface layers are populated by grains ≳λ/2π in size, indicating these grains are aerodynamically supported against settling and/or the density of smaller grains is relatively low. We demonstrate that our geometric analysis provides a reasonable assessment of the height of the NIR scattering surface at the outer edge of the disc and, if the inclination can be independently constrained, has the potential to probe the flaring exponent of the scattering surface in similarly inclined (i ≳ 70°) discs. In re-evaluating HD 145718’s stellar properties, we found that the object’s dimming events – previously characterized as UX Or and dipper variability – are consistent with dust occultation by grains larger, on average, than found in the ISM. This occulting dust likely originates close to the inferred dust sublimation radius at $0.17\,$ au.

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  6. null (Ed.)
  7. Young stars are surrounded by a circumstellar disk of gas and dust, within which planet formation can occur. Gravitational forces in multiple star systems can disrupt the disk. Theoretical models predict that if the disk is misaligned with the orbital plane of the stars, the disk should warp and break into precessing rings, a phenomenon known as disk tearing. We present observations of the triple-star system GW Orionis, finding evidence for disk tearing. Our images show an eccentric ring that is misaligned with the orbital planes and the outer disk. The ring casts shadows on a strongly warped intermediate region of the disk. If planets can form within the warped disk, disk tearing could provide a mechanism for forming wide-separation planets on oblique orbits.

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