AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 93. Star Formation II
Poster, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[93.15] Keck near-infrared observations of the Orion Proplyds: Initial results

R. Y. Shuping (UCLA-SOFIA), J. Patience (LLNL-IGPP), J. Bally (CASA-CU Boulder), M. Morris, J. Larkin (UCLA), B. Macintosh (LLNL-IGPP)

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has produced dramatic images of proto-planetary disks (``proplyds'') surrounding young (< 106 year old) stars embedded in the Orion Nebula. The intense UV radiation field of the high-mass Trapezium stars heats the disk surfaces, drives mass-loss, and produces bright ionization fronts. Many disks are seen in silhouette against the nebular background of the Orion Nebula, or against the proplyd's own ionization front. The sub-arcsecond resolution and light gathering power of the Keck telescopes in the near-IR provide a unique opportunity to study the earliest phases of planetary disk evolution and disk destruction under intense UV radiation fields. We present initial results from observations of a handful of proplyds using KCAM and NIRSPEC, with and without the adaptive optics (AO) system, on Keck II. These data clearly resolve, both spatially and spectrally, ionization fronts, disks, and a microjet. The data are used to constrain mass-loss rates due to photoevaporation, disk surface wind velocity, and grain size distribution.

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

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