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Published August 10, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Proplyds and massive disks in the Orion Nebula Cluster imaged with CARMA and SMA


We imaged a 2' × 2' region of the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) in 1.3 mm wavelength continuum emission with the recently commissioned Combined Array for Research in Millimeter Astronomy (CARMA) and with the Submillimeter Array (SMA). Our mosaics include >250 known near-IR cluster members, of which 36 are so-called "proplyds" that have been imaged previously with the Hubble Space Telescope. We detected 40 sources in 1 mm continuum emission (one of which is the BN Object), and several of them are spatially resolved with our observations. The emission from most objects arises predominantly from dust, and circumstellar masses inferred for detected sources range from 0.01 to 0.5 M⊙. The average circumstellar mass for undetected sources is estimated to be ~0.001 M⊙, approximately an order of magnitude smaller than the minimum-mass solar nebula. Most stars in the ONC thus do not appear to currently possess sufficient mass in small dust grains to form Jupiter-mass (or larger) planets. Comparison with previous results for younger and older regions indicates that massive disks evolve significantly on ~Myr timescales. We also show that the percentage of stars in Orion surrounded by disks more massive than ~0.01 M⊙ is substantially lower than in Taurus, indicating that environment has an impact on the disk-mass distribution. Disks in Orion may be truncated through photoevaporation caused by the intense radiation field of the Trapezium stars, and we see marginal evidence for such a scenario in the spatial distribution of massive disks within the cluster. Our data show no statistically significant correlation between disk and stellar masses, although we see hints of a higher percentage of massive disks around lower mass stars.

Additional Information

© 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2008 February 15; accepted 2008 March 19. J. A. E. acknowledges support from a Miller Research Fellowship. The authors thank M. Wright for his assistance in simulating CARMA mosaics in order to choose the optimal mosaic spacings for the observations. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation. 2MASS science data and information services were provided by the Infrared Science Archive at IPAC. Support for CARMA construction was derived from the states of Illinois, California, and Maryland, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, the Associates of the California Institute of Technology, and the National Science Foundation. Ongoing CARMA development and operations are supported by the National Science Foundation under a cooperative agreement and by the CARMA partner universities. The Submillimeter Array is a joint project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and is funded by the Smithsonian Institution and the Academia Sinica.

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