Herschel Observations of Gas and Dust in the Unusual 49 Ceti Debris Disk

A. Roberge, I. Kamp, B. Montesinos, W. R. F. Dent, G. Meeus, J. K. Donaldson, J. Olofsson, A. Moór, J.-C. Augereau, C. Howard, C. Eiroa, W.-F. Thi, D. R. Ardila, G. Sandell, P. Woitke

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47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present far-IR/sub-mm imaging and spectroscopy of 49 Ceti, an unusual circumstellar disk around a nearby young A1V star. The system is famous for showing the dust properties of a debris disk, but the gas properties of a low-mass protoplanetary disk. The data were acquired with the Herschel Space Observatory PACS and SPIRE instruments, largely as part of the "Gas in Protoplanetary Systems" (GASPS) Open Time Key Programme. Disk dust emission is detected in images at 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500 μm; 49 Cet is significantly extended in the 70 μm image, spatially resolving the outer dust disk for the first time. Spectra covering small wavelength ranges centered on eight atomic and molecular emission lines were obtained, including [O I ] 63 μm and [C II ] 158 μm. The C II line was detected at the 5σ level—the first detection of atomic emission from the disk. No other emission lines were seen, despite the fact that the O I line is the brightest one observed in Herschel protoplanetary disk spectra. We present an estimate of the amount of circumstellar atomic gas implied by the C II emission. The new far-IR/sub-mm data fills in a large gap in the previous spectral energy distribution (SED) of 49 Cet. A simple model of the new SED confirms the two-component structure of the disk: warm inner dust and cold outer dust that produces most of the observed excess. Finally, we discuss preliminary thermochemical modeling of the 49 Cet gas/dust disk and our attempts to match several observational results simultaneously. Although we are not yet successful in doing so, our investigations shed light on the evolutionary status of the 49 Cet gas, which might not be primordial gas but rather secondary gas coming from comets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69
Number of pages1
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume771
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2013

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