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Molecular hydrogen in the circumstellar disks of pre-main sequence stars

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 January 2010

M. Deleuil
Affiliation:
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (UMR 6110), Technopôle de Marseille-Etoile, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
J. C. Bouret
Affiliation:
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (UMR 6110), Technopôle de Marseille-Etoile, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
P. Feldman
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, JHU, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
A. Lecavelier des Etangs
Affiliation:
Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
C. Martin-Zaidi
Affiliation:
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, CNRS, Université Joseph-Fourier, UMR 5571, Grenoble, France
A. Roberge
Affiliation:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, Code 667, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
A. Vidal-Madjar
Affiliation:
Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
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Abstract

Circumstellar disks surrounding young forming stars, are likely the location where planets form. While the gaseous phase represents up to ~99% of the disk mass and control the dynamics, most of disk properties relies on dust analyses. The main constituent of the gaseous component, molecular hydrogen (H2), remains nearly out of reach and the gas disk is probed through emission lines of minor tracers, such as CO. In this lecture, we will first recall how H2 symmetric molecular structure makes its detection difficult. We will then review the most significant results achieved so far, thanks to new generation of ground and space-based telescopes, with a special emphasize given to Herbig Ae/be, which are pre-main sequence stars of intermediate mass. Though the first direct estimates of circumstellar disk mass have been reported, observation of H2 is still challenging detection.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2010

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Molecular hydrogen in the circumstellar disks of pre-main sequence stars
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