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Journal Articles Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Year : 2020

Spatially resolving the chemical composition of the planet building blocks

A Matter
  • Function : Author
F Pignatale
B Lopez
  • Function : Author


ABSTRACT The inner regions of protoplanetary discs (from ∼0.1 to 10 au) are the expected birthplace of planets, especially telluric. In those high-temperature regions, solids can experience cyclical annealing, vapourisation, and recondensation. Hot and warm dusty grains emit mostly in the infrared domain, notably in N-band (8–13 μm). Studying their fine chemistry through mid-infrared spectro-interferometry with the new Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) instrument Multi AperTure mid-Infrared SpectroScopic Experiment (MATISSE), which can spatially resolve these regions, requires detailed dust chemistry models. Using radiative transfer, we derived infrared spectra of a fiducial static protoplanetary disc model with different inner-disc (<1 au) dust compositions. The latter were derived from condensation sequences computed at local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) for three initial C/O ratios: subsolar (C/O = 0.4), solar (C/O = 0.54), and supersolar (C/O = 1). The three scenarios return very different N-band spectra, especially when considering the presence of sub-micron-sized dust grains. MATISSE should be able to detect these differences and trace the associated sub-au-scale radial changes. We propose a first interpretation of N-band ‘inner-disc’ spectra obtained with the former VLTI instrument MID-infrared Interferometric instrument (MIDI) on three Herbig stars (HD 142527, HD 144432, HD 163296) and one T Tauri star (AS 209). Notably, we could associate a supersolar (‘carbon-rich’) composition for HD 142527 and a subsolar (‘oxygen-rich’) one for HD 1444432. We show that the inner-disc mineralogy can be very specific and not related to the dust composition derived from spatially unresolved mid-infrared spectroscopy. We highlight the need for including more complex chemistry when interpreting solid-state spectroscopic observations of the inner regions of discs, and for considering dynamical aspects for future studies.

Dates and versions

hal-03526002 , version 1 (14-01-2022)



A Matter, F Pignatale, B Lopez. Spatially resolving the chemical composition of the planet building blocks. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2020, 497 (3), pp.2540-2552. ⟨10.1093/mnras/staa2137⟩. ⟨hal-03526002⟩
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