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Astron. Astrophys. 350, 541-552 (1999)

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The circumstellar environment of UX Ori *

A. Natta 1, T. Prusti 2, R. Neri 3, W.F. Thi 4, V.P. Grinin 5,6 and V. Mannings 7

1 Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E.Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2 ISO Data Centre, Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department of ESA, Villafranca del Castillo, P.O. Box 50727, 28020 Madrid, Spain
3 IRAM, 300 Rue de la Piscine, Domaine Universitaire, 38406 St. Martin d'Hères Cedex, France
4 Leiden Observatory, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
5 Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Crimea, 334413 Nauchny, Ukraine
6 St. Petersburgh University, 198904 St. Petersburgh, Russia
7 JPL, California Institute of Technology, MS 169-327, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA

Received 7 June 1999 / Accepted 30 July 1999


This paper presents new observations of UX Ori obtained with the millimeter interferometer of Plateau de Bure and with ISO. UX Ori is the prototype of a group of pre-main-sequence, intermediate-mass stars, often indicated as precursors of [FORMULA] Pic. The interferometry observations at 1.2 and 2.6 mm show that UX Ori has a circumstellar disk, with outer radius [FORMULA] AU. We determine the spectral index between these two wavelengths to be 2.1[FORMULA]0.2, consistent with the disk being optically thick at mm wavelengths. Alternatively, the disk solid matter can be in the form of "pebbles" (radius[FORMULA]10 cm). In both cases most of the disk mass must be in gas form, and small grains must be present, at least in the disk atmosphere. In both cases also, the disk must be rather massive ([FORMULA] 0.1 [FORMULA]). The existence of a circumstellar disk supports the model of the UXOR phenomenon in terms of a star+disk system. Self-consistent models of almost edge-on disks account well for the observed emission at all wavelengths longer than about 8µm, if we include the emission of the optically thin, superheated layers that enshroud the disk. These rather simple disk models fail to account for the strong emission observed in the near-IR (i.e., between [FORMULA] and 7 µm), and we suggest a number of possible explanations.

Key words: stars: circumstellar matter – stars: formation – stars: individual: UX Ori

* Based in part on observations obtained with ISO. ISO is an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA.

Send offprint requests to: natta@arcetri.astro.it

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: October 4, 1999