Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems: Upper Limits to the Gas Mass in Disks Around Sun-like Stars


We have carried out a sensitive search for gas emission lines at infrared and millimeter wavelengths for a sample of 15 young sun–like stars selected from our dust disk survey with the Spitzer Space Telescope. We have used mid–infrared lines to trace the warm (300–100K) gas in the inner disk and millimeter transitions of CO to probe the cold (∼20K) outer disk. We report no gas line detections from our sample. Line flux upper limits are first converted to warm and cold gas mass limits using simple approximations allowing a direct comparison with values from the literature. We also present results from more sophisticated models following Gorti and Hollenbach (2004) which confirm and extend our simple analysis. These models show that the [S i] line at 25.23μm can set constraining limits on the gas surface density at the disk inner radius and traces disk regions up to a few AU. We find that none of the 15 systems have more than 0.04MJ of gas within a few AU from the disk inner radius for disk radii from 1AU up to ∼40AU. These gas mass upper limits even in the 8 systems younger than ∼30Myr suggest that most of the gas is dispersed early. The gas mass upper limits in the 10–40AU region, that is mainly traced by our CO data, are < 2M⊕. If these systems are analogs of the Solar System, either they have already formed Uranus– and Neptune–like planets or they will not form them beyond 100Myr. Finally, the gas surface density upper limits at 1AU are smaller than 0.01% of the minimum mass solar nebula for most of the sources. If terrestrial planets form frequently and their orbits are circularized by gas, then circularization occurs early. Subject headings: planetary systems: formation solar system: formation – circumstellar matter —

19 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Pascucci2006FormationAE, title={Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems: Upper Limits to the Gas Mass in Disks Around Sun-like Stars}, author={Ilaria Pascucci and Ji Soon Kim and Elizabeth Stobie and Jeroen Bouwman}, year={2006} }