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J.H. Debes, A.J. Weinberger (Carnegie-DTM), G. Schneider (Steward Obs.)
Studying the resolved disk structure of nearby young stars can hold clues to the chemistry and dynamics of planet formation. The abundance of water ice, for example, is important for efficient planet formation and delivery of water to terrestrial life bearing planets in young disks. Many Solar System objects, from comets to the surfaces of satellites show the presence of water ice, while some larger objects such as Pluto show the presence of methane ice as well. These materials should be present in young exo-solar disks and may have detectable features as a function of location in a resolved circumstellar disk. We present results of an HST imaging program with the NICMOS coronagraph of two young stars with disks, HD 100546 and HR 4796. Water and methane ice have distinctive reflectance signatures in the wavelength range of 1.5\mum and 2.3\mum, which are covered by the NICMOS medium band filters F171M, F180M, F204M, and F222M. We present the fluxes of our target disks in each of these filters and compare the derived disk colors with water and methane ice reflectance spectra as well as with the colors of other known disks.
Support for program #10167 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.