Free-free emission and radio recombination lines from photoevaporating disks

I. Pascucci, U. Gorti, D. Hollenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Recent infrared observations have demonstrated that photoevaporation driven by high-energy photons from the central star contributes to the dispersal of protoplanetary disks. Here, we show that photoevaporative winds should produce a detectable free-free continuum emission given the range of stellar ionizing photons and X-ray luminosities inferred for young Sun-like stars. We point out that Very Large Array observations of the nearby disk around TW Hya might have already detected this emission at centimeter wavelengths and calculate the wind electron density and mass flow rate. We also estimate the intensities of H radio recombination lines tracing the wind and discuss which ones could be detected with current instrumentation. The detection and profiles of these recombination lines would unambiguously prove our inference of free-free emission from photoevaporating disks like TW Hya. In addition, radio/millimeter data can help constraining wind parameters such as temperature and electron density that are fundamental in measuring mass flow rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL42
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • circumstellar matter
  • protoplanetary disks
  • radio lines: stars
  • stars: individual (TW Hya)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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