Journal Article

Chemistry in a gravitationally unstable protoplanetary disc

J. D. Ilee, A. C. Boley, P. Caselli, R. H. Durisen, T. W. Hartquist and J. M. C. Rawlings

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 417, issue 4, pages 2950-2961
Published in print November 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Chemistry in a gravitationally unstable protoplanetary disc

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


Show Summary Details


Until now, axisymmetric, α-disc models have been adopted for calculations of the chemical composition of protoplanetary discs. While this approach is reasonable for many discs, it is not appropriate when self-gravity is important. In this case, spiral waves and shocks cause temperature and density variations that affect the chemistry. We have adopted a dynamical model of a solar-mass star surrounded by a massive (0.39 M), self-gravitating disc, similar to those that may be found around Class 0 and early Class I protostars, in a study of disc chemistry. We find that for each of a number of species, e.g. H2O, adsorption and desorption dominate the changes in the gas-phase fractional abundance; because the desorption rates are very sensitive to temperature, maps of the emissions from such species should reveal the locations of shocks of varying strengths. The gas-phase fractional abundances of some other species, e.g. CS, are also affected by gas-phase reactions, particularly in warm shocked regions. We conclude that the dynamics of massive discs have a strong impact on how they appear when imaged in the emission lines of various molecular species.

Keywords: astrochemistry; protoplanetary discs; circumstellar matter; stars: pre-main-sequence

Journal Article.  6453 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.