AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 2. Young Objects and Disks
Display, Wednesday, January 12, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[2.03] Dust and Disks of Ae/Be Stars

E. Polomski, C. Telesco (Department of Astronomy, University of Florida)

We have conducted a program of high spatial resolution mid-IR (4-18 \mum) imaging observations of the intermediate mass protoplanetary disk candidates, the Herbig Ae/Be stars, using the University of Florida mid-IR imager, OSCIR, at the Infrared Telescope Facility, Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, and the Keck Observatory. The mid-IR emission of these objects is usually attributed to a circumstellar disk. However, our observations show that the circumstellar environments of these young stars exhibit surprising structure which is often unrelated to circumstellar disks. We have also discovered that many of these stars are members of multiple systems with infrared-luminous embedded companions. In addition, the emission from very small grains, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) plays an important role in these environments. Here we present highlights of our survey of several of the better known Ae/Be stars and discuss their key properties. We also show revised SEDs and discuss their impact upon models of circumstellar disks. Finally, we have calculated temperature and optical depth maps for several objects and discuss how these maps reveal clues concerning the nature of the grains around Ae/Be stars. The source of the IR emission of these stars has direct consequences for the presence of circumstellar disks and ultimately, the formation of planets around intermediate mass stars.

EFP acknowledges research support from NASA GSRP as well as NSF.

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

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