Hein Bertelsen et al
CO ro-vibrational lines observed from Herbig group II discs are seen to be often broad while the same lines observed from group I discs are often narrow. This difference is not well understood. In this paper we explore the underlying cause for this difference and provide a pathway for a better understanding of the geometry and structure of the inner discs around Herbig Ae/Be stars.
High-spectral-resolution infrared spectra of CO ro-vibrational emission from six Herbig Ae/Be candidate stars were taken with CRIRES (CRyogenic high-resolution InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph) at the VLT (Very Large Telescope). From these spectra, we produce individual and co-added CO ro-vibrational line profiles. We investigate line profile shape differences, and we explore the FWHM (Full Width Half Maximum) variations with J quantum number in the context of disc geometry. Furthermore, we put our new sources into the context of earlier observed sources to study a large sample. For comparison, we also investigate the FWHM variations with J of modelled CO ro-vibrational lines from two typical disc geometries produced with the thermo-chemical disc modelling code ProDiMo.
Comparing dust and gas inner disc geometries (inferred by SED and CO ro-vibrational emission) for the expanded sample of observed Herbig discs, we find no clear correspondence between the SED groups of the sources and their inner CO radius.
The FWHM versus J is a potential new gas diagnostic for the inner disc with e.g. a constant FWHM versus J indicating the presence of a large gas hole or gap. Both models and observations indicate the potential of this new diagnostic.