X‐Ray–Irradiated Protoplanetary Disk Atmospheres. I. Predicted Emission‐Line Spectrum and Photoevaporation

Barbara Ercolano, Jeremy J. Drake, John C. Raymond, Cathie C. Clarke
2008 Astrophysical Journal  
We present MOCASSIN 2D photoionisation and dust radiative transfer models of a prototypical T Tauri disk irradiated by X-rays from the young pre-main sequence star. The calculations demonstrate a layer of hot gas reaching temperatures of ~10^6 K at small radii and ~10^4 K at a distance of 1 AU. The gas temperatures decrease sharply with depth, but appear to be completely decoupled from dust temperatures down to a column depth of ~5*10^21 cm^-2. We predict that several fine-structure and
more » ... ructure and forbidden lines of heavy elements, as well as recombination lines of hydrogen and helium, should be observable with current and future instrumentation, although optical lines may be smothered by the stellar spectrum. Predicted line luminosities are given for the the brightest collisionally excited lines (down to ~10^-8L_sun, and for recombination transitions from several levels of HI and HeI. The mass loss rate due to X-ray photoevaporation estimated from our models is of the order of 10^-8 M_sun yr^-1, implying a dispersal timescale of a few Myr for a disk of mass 0.027 M_sun, which is the mass of the disk structure model we employed. We discuss the limitations of our model and highlight the need for further calculations that should include the simultaneous solution of the 2D radiative transfer problem and the 1D hydrostatic equilibrium in the polar direction.
doi:10.1086/590490 fatcat:h5fwa66bwbfr7aaa5whlih4pqq