A proposed new diagnostic for Herbig disc geometry: FWHM versus J of CO ro-vibrational lines [SSA]


Aims. CO ro-vibrational lines observed from Herbig group II discs are seen to be often broad while the same lines observed from group I discs are often narrow. This difference is not well understood. In this paper we explore the underlying cause for this difference and provide a pathway for a better understanding of the geometry and structure of the inner discs around Herbig Ae/Be stars. Methods. High-spectral-resolution infrared spectra of CO ro-vibrational emission from six Herbig Ae/Be candidate stars were taken with CRIRES (CRyogenic high-resolution InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph) at the VLT (Very Large Telescope). From these spectra, we produce individual and co-added CO ro-vibrational line profiles. We investigate line profile shape differences, and we explore the FWHM (Full Width Half Maximum) variations with J quantum number in the context of disc geometry. Furthermore, we put our new sources into the context of earlier observed sources to study a large sample. For comparison, we also investigate the FWHM variations with J of modelled CO ro-vibrational lines from two typical disc geometries produced with the thermo-chemical disc modelling code ProDiMo. Results. – abbreviated – Comparing dust and gas inner disc geometries (inferred by SED and CO ro-vibrational emission) for the expanded sample of observed Herbig discs, we find no clear correspondence between the SED groups of the sources and their inner CO radius. Conclusions. The FWHM versus J is a potential new gas diagnostic for the inner disc with e.g. a constant FWHM versus J indicating the presence of a large gas hole or gap. Both models and observations indicate the potential of this new diagnostic. – abbreviated –

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R. Bertelsen, I. Kamp, G. Plas, et. al.
Mon, 14 Mar 16

Comments: accepted for publication in A&A