Context. Protoplanetary disks around young stars are the sites of planet formation. While the dust mass can be estimated using standard methods, determining the gas mass - and thus the amount of material available to form giant planets - has proven to be very difficult. Hydrogen deuteride (HD) is a promising alternative to the commonly used gas mass tracer, carbon monoxide. However, the potential of HD has not yet been investigated with models incorporating both HD and CO isotopologue-specific chemistry, and its sensitivity to uncertainties in disk parameters has not yet been quantified.
Aims: We examine the robustness of HD as tracer of the disk gas mass, specifically the effect of gas mass on HD far-infrared emission and its sensitivity to the vertical structure. Also, we seek to provide requirements for future far-infrared missions such as SPICA.
Methods: Deuterium chemistry reactions relevant for HD were implemented in the thermochemical code DALI and more than 160 disk models were run for a range of disk masses and vertical structures.
Results: The HD J = 1-0 line intensity depends directly on the gas mass through a sublinear power law relation with a slope of 0.8. Assuming no prior knowledge about the vertical structure of a disk and using only the HD 1-0 flux, gas masses can be estimated to within a factor of two for low mass disks (Mdisk ≤ 10-3M☉). For more massive disks, this uncertainty increases to more than an order of magnitude. Adding the HD 2-1 line or independent information about the vertical structure can reduce this uncertainty to a factor of 3 for all disk masses. For TW Hya, using the radial and vertical structure from the literature, the observations constrain the gas mass to 6 × 10-3M☉ ≤ Mdisk ≤ 9 × 10-3M☉. Future observations require a 5σ sensitivity of 1.8 × 10-20 W m-2 (2.5 × 10-20 W m-2) and a spectral resolving power R ≥ 300 (1000) to detect HD 1-0 (HD 2-1) for all disk masses above 10-5M☉ with a line-to-continuum ratio ≥ 0.01.
Conclusions: These results show that HD can be used as an independent gas mass tracer with a relatively low uncertainty and should be considered an important science goal for future far-infrared missions.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- September 2017
- protoplanetary disks;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 18 pages, 13 figures, accepted in A&