Modeling and interpretation of line observations*
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Published online: 23 September 2015
Models for the interpretation of line observations from protoplanetary disks are summarized. The spectrum ranges from 1D LTE slab models to 2D thermo-chemical radiative transfer models and their use depends largely on the type/nature of observational data that is analyzed. I discuss the various types of observational data and their interpretation in the context of disk physical and chemical properties. The most simple spatially and spectral unresolved data are line fluxes, which can be interpreted using so-called Boltzmann diagrams. The interpretation is often tricky due to optical depth and non-LTE effects and requires care. Line profiles contain kinematic information and thus indirectly the spatial origin of the emission. Using series of line profiles, we can for example deduce radial temperature gradients in disks (CO pure rotational ladder). Spectro-astrometry of e.g. CO ro-vibrational line profiles probes the disk structure in the 1–30 AU region, where planet formation through core accretion should be most efficient. Spatially and spectrally resolved line images from (sub)mm interferometers are the richest datasets we have to date and they enable us to unravel exciting details of the radial and vertical disk structure such as winds and asymmetries.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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