Protoplanetary disk masses in the Orion nebula cluster

Rita K. Mann1* and Jonathan P. Williams2†
1National Research Council Canada, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, Victoria, Canada
2University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI, 96822

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We present the results of an 850 µm Submillimeter Array survey of protoplanetary disks in the Orion Nebula cluster, conducted to study the impact of ultraviolet radiation from massive stars on protoplanetary disk properties. A clear disk mass distance dependence exists in the Orion Nebula cluster with higher disk masses found at increasing distances from θ1 Ori C, the most massive star in the region. Mass-loss due to external ultraviolet radiation becomes negligible for disks located beyond 0.3 pc from θ1 Ori C. The disk mass and size distributions are consistent with the formation of Orion disks ~ 2 Myr ago with similar properties to disks found in low-mass star forming regions like Taurus, followed by subsequent photoevaporation down to smaller masses and sizes depending on their proximity to θ1 Ori C. The fraction of surveyed Orion disks with the potential to form Solar system analogs is ~ 18%, suggesting the potential for forming planets is not lower than in star forming regions that lack massive stars.

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Keywords : circumstellar matter – planetary systems: protoplanetary disks – solar system: formation – stars: pre-main sequence