AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 127 Circumstellar Disks and the Origin of the Solar System
Oral, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Golden Ballroom

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[127.02] Using High-Resolution Near Infrared Spectroscopy to Probe Circumstellar Disks and Exoplanetary Atmospheres

S. Brittain (NOAO (previously Univeristy of Notre Dame)), T. Rettig (University of Notre Dame)

High-resolution infrared spectroscopy is a valuable tool for the study of circumstellar disks and planetary atmospheres. This dissertation research highlights applications of this tool by addressing the following issues:

1) Is there any evidence of gas/dust stratification in the disk? The degree of gas and dust mixing in the extended disk around a young star has important implications for the formation of planetesimals. The vertical distribution of dust and gas in disks can be assessed by simultaneous comparison of infrared CO absorption lines with infrared extinction. We find an inverse relationship between N(CO)/AV and inclination. The most straightforward interpretation of the existing data confirms the stratification of dust and gas in circumstellar disks.

2) How does gas evolve in the inner disk? We present near infrared high-resolution spectra of CO from the circumstellar protoplanetary region around young stars. The spectra of disks in different evolutionary states are compared. We will discuss how the excitation mechanism of the gas can shed light on the evolution of the disk and the implications this might have for planetary formation scenarios.

3) Can we probe the atmosphere of exoplanets? Optical observations of the prototype transiting exoplanet HD 209458b have revealed evidence of sodium, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen providing new insight to the content and physical processes relevant to short-period exoplanets (e.g. Vidal-Madjar et al. 2004). NIR observations of molecular species have potential to compliment these studies in important ways. We will discuss our results of a search for H3+ from HD 209458b.

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

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.