With the exceptional sensitivity of the Herschel Space Observatory, the project work will involve performing a complete survey of the low mass members of the Taurus star-forming region, spanning the transition from low mass stars to brown dwarfs. The sensitive PACS 70um and 160um maps of all sources are designed to provide a census of disks, ranging from primordial gas rich disks to transition disks and debris disks, and to define a benchmark population study for comparison with objects of higher mass, older ages, and in different environments. Over the course of the funded period, we will make maps and measure fluxes of the Herschel data, construct full SEDs, model the results, and publish the disk census. The Herschel data cover wavelengths over the important range associated with the transition from optically thick to optically thin emission, and we are augmenting the Herschel scans with longer wavelengths to further characterize the disk properties. The Herschel data for all sources will be combined with existing photometry to construct SEDs over the optical to submm range, and we will fit the SEDs with a comprehensive grid of models developed with the state-of-the-art radiative transfer code MCFOST. By comparing the well-sampled SEDs with an extensive grid of models, we will estimate key structural parameters such as radius, mass, scale height, and evidence of flaring or dust settling, important observational constraints on the viability of these disks as sites for future planet formation. The results will be written up for publication in journal articles, with one paper concentrating on the Class II members and one paper concentrating on the Class III members.
|Effective start/end date||12/17/12 → 6/30/14|
- National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA): $57,375.00