Searching for gas emission lines in Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) spectra of young stars in Taurus⋆
ISDC Data Centre for Astrophysics, Université de Genève,
16 chemin d’Ecogia,
2 Observatoire Astronomique de l’Université de Genève, 51 chemin de Maillettes, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
3 University of Vienna, Department of Astronomy, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, 1180 Vienna, Austria
4 Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, 220-6 1200 East California Boulevard, CA 91125 Pasadena, USA
5 Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, University of Colorado, CO 80309-0389 Boulder, USA
6 ETH Zürich, 27 Wolfgang-Pauli-Str., 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
7 UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, EH3 9 HJ Edinburgh, UK
8 IPAC, California Institute of Technology, 770 South Wilson Avenue, CA 91125 Pasadena, USA
Received: 19 August 2010
Accepted: 14 January 2011
Context. Our knowledge of circumstellar disks has traditionally been based on studies of dust. However, gas dominates the disk mass and its study is key to our understanding of accretion, outflows, and ultimately planet formation. The Spitzer Space Telescope provides access to gas emission lines in the mid-infrared, providing crucial new diagnostics of the physical conditions in accretion disks and outflows.
Aims. We seek to identify gas emission lines in mid-infrared spectra of 64 pre-main-sequence stars in Taurus. Using line luminosities and other known star-disk-outflow parameters, we aim to identify correlations that will help to constrain gas heating, excitation mechanisms, and the line formation.
Methods. We have based our study on Spitzer observations using the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS), mainly with the high-resolution modules. Line luminosities (or 3σ upper limits) have been obtained by fitting Gaussian profiles to the lines. We have further searched for correlations between the line luminosities and different parameters related to the star-disk system.
Results. We have detected H2 (17.03, 28.22 μm) emission in 6 objects, [Ne II] (12.81 μm) emission in 18 objects, and [Fe II] (17.93, 25.99 μm) emission in 7 objects. [Ne II] detections are found primarily in Class II objects. The luminosity of the [Ne II] line (LNeII) is in general higher for objects known to drive jets than for those without known jets, but the two groups are not statistically distinguishable. LNeII is correlated with X-ray luminosity, but for Class II objects only. LNeII is also correlated with disk mass and accretion rate when the sample is divided into high and low accretors. Furthermore, we find correlations of LNeII with mid-IR continuum luminosity and with luminosity of the [O I] (6300 Å) line, the latter being an outflow tracer. L [FeII] correlates with Ṁacc. No correlations were found between LH2 and several tested parameters.
Conclusions. Our study reveals a general trend toward accretion-related phenomena as the origin of the gas emission lines. Shocks in jets and outflowing material are more likely to play a significant role than shocks in infalling material. The role of X-ray irradiation is less prominent but still present for [Ne II], in particular for Class II sources, while the lack of correlation between [Fe II] and [Ne II] points toward different emitting mechanisms.
Key words: ISM: jets and outflows / infrared: stars / protoplanetary disks / stars: formation / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: protostars
Appendices and Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2011