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The Effects of Initial Abundances on Nitrogen in Protoplanetary Disks

By SpaceRef Editor
November 6, 2014
Filed under , ,

Kamber R. Schwarz, Edwin A. Bergin

(Submitted on 5 Nov 2014)

The dominant form of nitrogen provided to most solar system bodies is currently unknown, though available measurements show that the detected nitrogen in solar system rocks and ices is depleted with respect to solar abundances and the interstellar medium. We use a detailed chemical/physical model of the chemical evolution of a protoplanetary disk to explore the evolution and abundance of nitrogen-bearing molecules. Based on this model we analyze how initial chemical abundances, provided as either gas or ice during the early stages of disk formation, influence which species become the dominant nitrogen bearers at later stages. We find that a disk with the majority of its initial nitrogen in either atomic or molecular nitrogen is later dominated by atomic and molecular nitrogen as well as NH3 and HCN ices, where the dominant species varies with disk radius. When nitrogen is initially in gaseous ammonia, it later becomes trapped in ammonia ice except in the outer disk where atomic nitrogen dominates. For a disk with the initial nitrogen in the form of ammonia ice the nitrogen remains trapped in the ice as NH3 at later stages. The model in which most of the initial nitrogen is placed in atomic N best matches the ammonia abundances observed in comets. Furthermore the initial state of nitrogen influences the abundance of N2H+ , which has been detected in protoplanetary disks. Strong N2H+ emission is found to be indicative of an N2 abundance greater than n N 2 / n H 2 > 10−6 , in addition to tracing the CO snow line. Our models also indicate that NO is potentially detectable, with lower N gas abundances leading to higher NO abundances.

Comments: 27 pages, 23 figures; accepted to ApJ

Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Cite as: arXiv:1411.1403 [astro-ph.SR] (or arXiv:1411.1403v1 [astro-ph.SR] for this version)

Submission history

From: Kamber Schwarz 

[v1] Wed, 5 Nov 2014 21:00:00 GMT (3754kb,D)

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