An Unusual Reservoir of Water Emission in the VV CrA A Protoplanetary Disk

Colette Salyk, Klaus M. Pontoppidan, Andrea Banzatti, Ulrich Käufl, Cassandra Hall, Ilaria Pascucci, Andrés Carmona, Geoffrey A. Blake, Richard Alexander, Inga Kamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of an unusual pattern of water vapor emission from the ∼2 Myr old low-mass binary system VV CrA, as observed in IR spectra obtained with VLT-CRIRES, VLT-VISIR, and Spitzer-IRS. Each component of the binary shows emission from water vapor in both the L (∼3 μm) and N (∼12 μm) bands. The N-band and Spitzer spectra are similar to those previously observed from young stars with disks and are consistent with emission from an extended protoplanetary disk. Conversely, the CRIRES L-band data of VV CrA A show an unusual spectrum, which requires the presence of a water reservoir with high temperature (T ≳ 1500 K), column density (N H2O ∼ 3 × 1020 cm−2), and turbulent broadening (v ∼ 10 km s−1) but very small emitting area (A ≲ 0.005 au2). Similarity to previously observed water emission from V1331 Cyg and SVS 13 suggests that the presence of such a reservoir may be linked to evolutionary state, perhaps related to the presence of high accretion rates or winds. While the inner disk may harbor such a reservoir, simple Keplerian models do not match well with emitting line shapes, and alternative velocity fields must be considered. We also present a new idea, that the unusual emission could arise in a circumplanetary disk, embedded within the larger VV CrA A protoplanetary disk. Additional data are likely required to determine the true physical origin of this unusual spectral pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number136
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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