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Published July 1, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Discovery of OH in circumstellar disks around young intermediate-mass stars


We detect emission from multiple low-excitation rovibrational transitions of OH from the two Herbig Ae stars AB Aurigae and MWC 758 in the 3.0-3.7 μm wavelength range (L band), using the NIRSPEC instrument on Keck II. The inner radius for the emitting region in both stars is close to 1 AU. We compare an optically thin LTE model and a thin-wedge fluorescence model, finding rotational temperatures of 650-800 K and OH abundances of 10^42-10^45 molecules for the two stars. Comparisons with current chemical models support the fluorescence excitation model for AB Aurigae and possibly MWC 758, but further observations and detailed modeling are necessary to improve constraints on OH emission in different disk environments.

Additional Information

© 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2008 March 3; accepted 2008 May 19; published 2008 June 11. This research was supported by the Goddard Center for Astrobiology and the NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. We thank the anonymous referee for constructive comments. Facilities: Keck:II(NIRSPEC).

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023