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Published 2004 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Gas evolution in protoplanetary disks


We present the results of a study of the evolution of the gas and dust in disks around T Tauri, Herbig Ae and Vega-like stars. We observed the two lowest rotational lines of H2 with the ISO-SWS as well as ^(12)CO 3–2 and ^(13)CO 3–2 with the JCMT, and CO 6–5 with the CSO. The H_2 lines trace the warm (∽ 100 K) inner region whereas the CO lines probe the colder outer disks. Substantial amounts of H_2 have been detected toward T Tauri and Herbig Ae stars, and, surprisingly, also around three Vega-like objects (49 Cet, HD 135344 and β Pictoris). In contrast with previous conclusions derived from CO data, a significant mass of warm gas is found to persist up to ages of several tens of Myrs, suggesting that slow formation of gas-rich giant planets is possible.

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© 2004 Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

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