New paper on line emission from disk winds

published in A&A 2022, 668, 154

Rab at al. 2022, see link to ADS

Interpreting molecular hydrogen and atomic oxygen line emission of T Tauri disks with photoevaporative disk-wind models

Context. Winds in protoplanetary disks play an important role in their evolution and dispersal. However, the physical process that is actually driving the winds is still unclear (i.e. magnetically versus thermally driven), and can only be understood by directly confronting theoretical models with observational data.
Aims: We aim to interpret observational data for molecular hydrogen and atomic oxygen lines that show kinematic disk-wind signatures in order to investigate whether or not purely thermally driven winds are consistent with the data.
Methods: We use hydrodynamic photoevaporative disk-wind models and post-process them with a thermochemical model to produce synthetic observables for the spectral lines o-H2 1-0 S(1) at 2.12 µm and [OI] 1D2-3P2 at 0.63 µm and directly compare the results to a sample of observations.
Results: We find that our photoevaporative disk-wind model is consistent with the observed signatures of the blueshifted narrow low-velocity component (NLVC) - which is usually associated with slow disk winds - for both tracers. Only for one out of seven targets that show blueshifted NLVCs does the photoevaporative model fail to explain the observed line kinematics. Our results also indicate that interpreting spectral line profiles using simple methods, such as the thin-disk approximation, to determine the line emitting region is not appropriate for the majority of cases and can yield misleading conclusions. This is due to the complexity of the line excitation, wind dynamics, and the impact of the actual physical location of the line-emitting regions on the line profiles.
Conclusions: The photoevaporative disk-wind models are largely consistent with the studied observational data set, but it is not possible to clearly discriminate between different wind-driving mechanisms. Further improvements to the models are necessary, such as consistent modelling of the dynamics and chemistry, and detailed modelling of individual targets (i.e. disk structure) would be beneficial. Furthermore, a direct comparison of magnetically driven disk-wind models to the observational data set is necessary in order to determine whether or not spatially unresolved observations of multiple wind tracers are sufficient to discriminate between theoretical models.