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Paper: PAH Emission from Disks around Intermediate-Mass Stars: The Peculiar Aroma of Hydrocarbons Orbiting Herbig Ae/Be Stars
Volume: 414, Cosmic Dust—Near and Far
Page: 107
Authors: Keller, L. D.; Sloan, G. C.
Abstract: Over half of the intermediate-mass young stellar objects in the Galaxy (e.g. Herbig Ae/Be stars or HAeBe) have high-contrast emission in the mid-infrared spectral features of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) above the continuum produced by thermal emission from dust in the circumstellar disks. We have examined the PAH emission in detail for 30 HAeBe stars observed with the Spitzer IRS. We have identified some trends that, should they survive in a larger sample of HAeBe stars, will allow us to infer large-scale disk geometry (both inner and outer) and the degree of photo-processing of organic molecular material in HAeBe disks: HAeBe stars apparently have distinctive PAH spectra among the many other astronomical environments that are characterized by strong PAH emission; strong PAH emission is not necessarily an indicator of a particular disk geometry; PAH spectra of HAeBe stars change systematically with stellar effective temperature; PAH in HAeBe disks are ionized. As part of a Spitzer archival project we are applying our spectral analysis methods to an even larger sample of HAeBe stars observed with the IRS and currently available in the Spitzer archive. Here we report preliminary results as we begin the larger study.
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