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Delivery of Volatiles & Organics: From Earth to Exoearths in the Era of JWST

Observational and Theoretical Constraints on the Water Distribution in Protoplanetary Disks

Presented by: Edward Bergin (University of Michigan)
Category: Science Workshops   Duration: 40 minutes   Broadcast date: September 14, 2010
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I will outline our current knowledge of the water vapor and ice distribution in protoplanetary disks. In the past few years through both ground and space based efforts we have been able to place important observational constraints on the presence or absence of water vapor both within and beyond the evaporation front or snow-line. In this context, I will discuss the various ways that water vapor and ice can be formed and destroyed depending on the local physical environment. I will place particular emphasis on two new results. First new models suggest that water vapor can form in situ within the snow-line and is capable of protecting itself from molecule-destroying stellar ultraviolet radiation. This has important implications for the presence of water vapor within the planet-formation zone. Second, we will show that the surface of the outer disk appears to be drier than anticipated, which might imply that water ice-coated grains are preferentially found in the disk midplane.