Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013
OBSERVATIONS OF WARM WATER IN YOUNG PROTOPLANETARY DISKS AND ITS CONNECTION TO DISK EVOLUTION AND PLANET FORMATION
Banzatti, Andrea (ETH Zurich)
Meyer, Michael (ETH Zurich)
Pontoppidan, Klaus (STScI)
Bruderer, Simon (MPE)
Recent analyses of mid-infrared spectra have shown that warm molecular gas (mainly water, OH, and simple organic molecules) is commonly detected in the inner regions of T Tauri disks and might be an important tracer for the chemical and physical evolution of the terrestrial planet formation region. Many studies suggest that the composition of gas and dust in circumstellar disks (inherited from the ISM and evolved through the protostellar phase) can be further altered by several processes relevant for planet formation. The outcome of this evolution may have important implications concerning the architecture of planetary systems, the composition of surfaces and atmospheres of forming planets, and on planet habitability. The water abundance in the inner disk is a good tracer of both the local irradiation environment and the radial transport of icy bodies that evaporate after crossing the snowline, the building blocks of rocky planets. Water and other molecules in the gas phase are therefore strongly connected to our understanding of disk evolution and planet formation processes. Here I show the highlights from the research I have done during my PhD, using mid-infrared spectroscopy from Spitzer and VLT-VISIR to address: 1) the effect of variable UV radiation on gas molecules in the inner disk, during accretion phenomena in the T Tauri phase, and 2) the abundance of water vapor inward of the snowline as indicative of its origin through chemical (gas-phase reactions) and/or physical (ongoing inward migration of icy solids) processes, and a potential tracer of disk evolution and planet formation processes.
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