Elisabetta Rigliaco, I. Pascucci, G. Duchene, S. Edwards, D. R. Ardila, C. Grady, I. Mendigutía, B. Montesinos, G. D. Mulders, J. R. Najita, J. Carpenter, E. Furlan (+3 others)
2015 Astrophysical Journal  
In this paper we investigate the origin of the mid-infrared (IR) hydrogen recombination lines for a sample of 114 disks in different evolutionary stages (full, transitional and debris disks) collected from the Spitzer archive. We focus on the two brighter H i lines observed in the Spitzer spectra, the H i(7-6) at 12.37μm and the H i(9-7) at 11.32μm. We detect the H i(7-6) line in 46 objects, and the H i(9-7) in 11. We compare these lines with the other most common gas line detected in Spitzer
more » ... ectra, the [Ne iii] at 12.81μm. We argue that it is unlikely that the H i emission originates from the photoevaporating upper surface layers of the disk, as has been found for the [Ne iii] lines toward low-accreting stars. Using the H i(9-7)/H i(7-6) line ratios we find these gas lines are likely probing gas with hydrogen column densities of 10^10-10^11 cm^-3. The subsample of objects surrounded by full and transitional disks show a positive correlation between the accretion luminosity and the H i line luminosity. These two results suggest that the observed mid-IR H i lines trace gas accreting onto the star in the same way as other hydrogen recombination lines at shorter wavelengths. A pure chromospheric origin of these lines can be excluded for the vast majority of full and transitional disks.We report for the first time the detection of the H i(7-6) line in eight young (< 20 Myr) debris disks. A pure chromospheric origin cannot be ruled out in these objects. If the H i(7-6) line traces accretion in these older systems, as in the case of full and transitional disks, the strength of the emission implies accretion rates lower than 10^-10M_/yr. We discuss some advantages of extending accretion indicators to longer wavelengths.
doi:10.1088/0004-637x/801/1/31 fatcat:6tpq3iraqrfs3oh4g3clcg6ob4