AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 118. Star Formation
Oral, Saturday, January 9, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Room 6 (A and B)

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[118.02] Large Particles in Orion Circumstellar Discs

H. B. Throop, J. Bally, L. W. Esposito (U.Colorado), M. J. McCaughrean (Astro. Inst. Potsdam)

Approximately 50 young (\tau ~ Myr) circumstellar discs have been observed by HST (McCaughrean & O'Dell 1996, AJ 111, 1977). These discs are seen in silhouette, back-illuminated by nebulosity in the Orion region.

We have measured and analyzed the radial profiles of several Orion discs for wavelengths between 0.2 -- 1.9 \mum. We find that both the size and shape of the radial profiles are independent of wavelength. The discs' lack of measured color places strong constraints on particle sizes in the discs' outer edges. Using multiple scattering calculations, we find that the discs are consistent with silicate-ice particles of r \gtrsim 10 \mum. Smaller particles would cause the discs to appear smaller with increasing wavelength. Assuming smoothly truncated disc edges, our observations show that the discs are strongly inconsistent with `primordial' R=5 particles measured for the Orion region. Because we find the particles to be much larger, the discs lower-limit masses are revised upward by several orders of magnitude.

Existing models of grain coagulation in the early solar nebula typically predict grain growth to mm-sized particles in 103-4 years; e.g., Ruden & Pollack 1996 (ApJ 375, 740). Our observational results are the first confirmation of this aspect of the theoretical models, and the first direct confirmation of grain accretion in young circumstellar discs.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://bogart.colorado.edu/~throop/research.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: throop@colorado.edu

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