Hot Gas Lines in T Tauri Stars

David R. Ardila, Gregory J. Herczeg, Scott G. Gregory, Laura Ingleby, Kevin France, Alexander Brown, Suzan Edwards, Christopher Johns-Krull, Jeffrey L. Linsky, Hao Yang, Jeff A. Valenti, Hervé Abgrall, Richard D. Alexander, Edwin Bergin, Thomas Bethell, Joanna M. Brown, Nuria Calvet, Catherine Espaillat, Lynne A. Hillenbrand, Gaitee HussainEvelyne Roueff, Eric R. Schindhelm, Frederick M. Walter

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67 Citations (Scopus)


For Classical T Tauri Stars (CTTSs), the resonance doublets of N V, Si IV, and C IV, as well as the He II 1640 Å line, trace hot gas flows and act as diagnostics of the accretion process. In this paper we assemble a large high-resolution, high-sensitivity data set of these lines in CTTSs and Weak T Tauri Stars (WTTSs). The sample comprises 35 stars: 1 Herbig Ae star, 28 CTTSs, and 6 WTTSs. We find that the C IV, Si IV, and N V lines in CTTSs all have similar shapes. We decompose the C IV and He II lines into broad and narrow Gaussian components (BC and NC). The most common (50%) C IV line morphology in CTTSs is that of a low-velocity NC together with a redshifted BC. For CTTSs, a strong BC is the result of the accretion process. The contribution fraction of the NC to the C IV line flux in CTTSs increases with accretion rate, from ~20% to up to ~80%. The velocity centroids of the BCs and NCs are such that V BC 〉~ 4 V NC, consistent with the predictions of the accretion shock model, in at most 12 out of 22 CTTSs. We do not find evidence of the post-shock becoming buried in the stellar photosphere due to the pressure of the accretion flow. The He II CTTSs lines are generally symmetric and narrow, with FWHM and redshifts comparable to those of WTTSs. They are less redshifted than the CTTSs C IV lines, by ~10 km s-1. The amount of flux in the BC of the He II line is small compared to that of the C IV line, and we show that this is consistent with models of the pre-shock column emission. Overall, the observations are consistent with the presence of multiple accretion columns with different densities or with accretion models that predict a slow-moving, low-density region in the periphery of the accretion column. For HN Tau A and RW Aur A, most of the C IV line is blueshifted suggesting that the C IV emission is produced by shocks within outflow jets. In our sample, the Herbig Ae star DX Cha is the only object for which we find a P-Cygni profile in the C IV line, which argues for the presence of a hot (105 K) wind. For the overall sample, the Si IV and N V line luminosities are correlated with the C IV line luminosities, although the relationship between Si IV and C IV shows large scatter about a linear relationship and suggests that TW Hya, V4046 Sgr, AA Tau, DF Tau, GM Aur, and V1190 Sco are silicon-poor, while CV Cha, DX Cha, RU Lup, and RW Aur may be silicon-rich.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages43
JournalAstrophysical Journal Supplement
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • protoplanetary disks
  • stars: pre-main sequence
  • stars: variables: T Tauri
  • Herbig Ae/Be
  • surveys
  • ultraviolet: stars
  • Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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