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Upper limits on the water vapour content of the β Pictoris debris disk
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary; National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Japan; University of Toronto, Canada.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
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Number of Authors: 62019 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 628, article id A127Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context. The debris disk surrounding β Pictoris has been observed with ALMA to contain a belt of CO gas with a distinct peak at ~85 au. This CO clump is thought to be the result of a region of enhanced density of solids that collide and release CO through vaporisation. The parent bodies are thought to be comparable to solar system comets, in which CO is trapped inside a water ice matrix

Aims. Since H2O should be released along with CO, we aim to put an upper limit on the H2O gas mass in the disk of β Pictoris.

Methods. We used archival data from the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI) aboard the Herschel Space Observatory to study the ortho-H2O 1(10)-1(01) emission line. The line is undetected. Using a python implementation of the radiative transfer code RADEX, we converted upper limits on the line flux to H2O gas masses. The resulting lower limits on the CO/H2O mass ratio are compared to the composition of solar system comets.

Results. Depending on the assumed gas spatial distribution, we find a 95% upper limit on the ortho-H2O line flux of7.5×10−20W m−2or1.2×10−19W m−2. These translate into an upper limit on the H2O mass of7.4×1016–1.1×1018kg depending on both the electron density and gas kinetic temperature. The range of derived gas-phase CO/H2O ratios is marginally consistent with low-ratio solar system comets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 628, article id A127
Keywords [en]
stars: individual: β Pictoris, submillimeter: planetary systems, methods: observational, circumstellar matter
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173134DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201935655ISI: 000482750100007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173134DiVA, id: diva2:1358029
Available from: 2019-10-06 Created: 2019-10-06 Last updated: 2019-10-06Bibliographically approved

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