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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

The Birthplace of Tatooine: Infrared Observations of a Planet-forming Disk Around Twin Young Suns in Sagittarius

V4046 Sagittarius is a young binary star system that is located a mere 200 light years from Earth and is orbited by a gaseous circumstellar disk. Most young stars dissipate their disks after only 3 million years or so, but V4046 Sgr is believed to be roughly 12 million years old and still accreting disk material onto its twin young suns. We present a preliminary analysis of the composition of this circumbinary disk via infrared spectroscopy from both the Spitzer and Herschel Space Telescopes. We find numerous emission lines of atomic gas and volatile molecules, including water, in the disk. Other observations suggest that the disk around V4046 Sgr has an inner gap that may have been caused by planet formation. Our spectroscopic results concerning the composition and processes occurring within this disk will help us determine why the disk is still present, the composition of any planets forming in the inner gap, and the overall structure and evolution of this system.

Presenter: Valerie Rapson (Rochester Institute of Technology) -- var5998@rit.edu
Topic: Astronomy -Panel
Location: 102 Edwards
Time: 9:15 am (Session I)