CO ro-vibrational emission: tracing the geometry of the inner protoplanetary disc

Hein-Bertelsen, R., 2015, [S.l.]: [s.n.]. 261 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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  • Rosina Hein-Bertelsen
When stars are born they are surrounded by discs containing dust and gas.
Since we expect planets to form in these discs, we call them
protoplanetary discs. During planet formation, we expect dynamical effects
to lead to a gradual removal of material close to the orbit of the planet,
possibly leading to gaps/holes in the disc.

CO (carbon monoxide) is the second most common molecule in the universe
and it is therefore also abundantly present in these discs. The
ro-vibrational line transitions of the CO molecule are frequently observed
from the warm inner regions of protoplanetary discs. Hence, CO
emission lines could be excellent tracers of the presence of gaps/holes
due to planet formation.

Using observed spectra collected at the VLT (Very Large Telescope) in
Chile, and using detailed computer models of such discs, we have
investigated how the CO ro-vibrational emission lines from protoplanetary
discs can best be used to trace planet formation processes.

We find that CO ro-vibrational line profiles from high resolution and high
signal to noise near-infrared spectra can reveal the location of gaps in
protoplanetary discs. By studying the line fluxes, widths and shapes of
these line profiles, dust gaps, dust+gas gaps, or unusually extended
emitting regions can be identified. Hence, inner disc geometries that
appear unclear from dust observations alone, can be characterized in much
more detail by the analysis of CO ro-vibrational line profiles. Future ELT
instruments like METIS would be an excellent tool for these studies.
Translated title of the contributionCO vibratie-rotatie emissie: Het bepalen van de geometrie van het binnenste deel van de protoplanetaire schijf
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Kamp, Inga, Supervisor
  • Waters, Laurentius, Supervisor
  • Brittain, Sean, Assessment committee, External person
  • Dishoeck, E. F., Assessment committee, External person
  • Tak, van der, Floris, Assessment committee
Award date13-Feb-2015
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-7594-6
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7593-9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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