AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 16 Ae Be and T Tauri Stars
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[16.01] Gas and Dust Stratification in Young Stellar Disks

T. Rettig (Univ. Notre Dame), S. Brittain (NOAO), C. Kulesa (Univ. Arizona), T. Simon (Univ. Hawaii), E. Gibb (Univ. Notre Dame)

Dust settling and grain growth have been predicted to occur during the early evolutionary phase of T Tauri stars (e.g., Hayashi, Nakazawa, & Nakazawa 1985, Weidenschilling 1997, Chiang 2004) but this effect has not been observationally tested. If dust preferentially settles to the mid-plane, it would leave behind a predominantly gaseous atmosphere at higher vertical scale heights and the gas-to-dust ratio along the line of sight to the central star would be higher for inclined systems than for systems viewed edge-on. If, on the other hand, the gas and dust are well mixed due to turbulence, then the gas-to-dust ratio will be independent of the inclination of the line of sight through the disk. We present an absorption line study of CO to probe disk systems of various inclinations and infer a gas/dust ratio as a measure of disk stratification. Implications for initial conditions of planet formation models are discussed.

This research is supported by the Division of Astronomy of the National Science Foundation.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.