EAS Publications Series
Volume 41, 2010Physics and Astrophysics of Planetary Systems
|Page(s)||155 - 165|
|Published online||08 January 2010|
T. Montmerle, D. Ehrenreich and A.-M. Lagrange (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 41 (2010) 155-165
Molecular hydrogen in the circumstellar disks of pre-main sequence stars
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (UMR 6110), Technopôle de Marseille-Etoile, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, JHU, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
3 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
4 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, CNRS, Université Joseph-Fourier, UMR 5571, Grenoble, France
5 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, Code 667, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
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.
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2010
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