Multiwavelength Studies of Gaseous Protoplanetary Disks

Grant #: NNX09AC78G
Senior Scientist: Uma Gorti

A study of protoplanetary disks using multiple wavelengths to probe disk evolution by gas line emission. Also studying disk dispersal via photoevaporation. Gas line emission and photoevaporative flows arise mainly from the surface layers of disks, a region subject to heating by energetic photons (UV and X-rays) from the young, active, central star.  This study analyses NASA's archival X-ray and UV data (ASCA, ROSAT, XMM Newton, FUSE, IUE) to obtain spectra for a well-chosen sample of sources, uses available IRAS, ISO and Spitzer data to characterise infrared emission, and uses our theoretical models to model observed gas emission. This study allows us to derive gas spatial distributions, predict line strengths for future missions, and estimate disk dispersal times by photoevaporation due to Ultraviolet and X-ray photons.