Keck near-infrared observations of the Orion proplyds: Initial results

R. Y. Shuping, Jennifer Patience, John Bally, Mark Morris, James Larkin, Bruce Macintosh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has produced dramatic images of proto-planetary disks ("proplyds") surrounding young (< 10 6 year old) stars embedded in the Orion Nebula. The intense UV radiation field of the high-mass Trapezium stars heats the disk surfaces, drives mass-loss, and produces bright ionization fronts. Many disks are seen in silhouette against the nebular background of the Orion Nebula, or against the proplyd's own ionization front. The sub-arcsecond resolution and light gathering power of the Keck telescopes in the near-IR provide a unique opportunity to study the earliest phases of planetary disk evolution and disk destruction under intense UV radiation fields. We present initial results from observations of a handful of proplyds using KCAM and NIRSPEC, with and without the adaptive optics (AO) system, on Keck II. These data clearly resolve, both spatially and spectrally, ionization fronts, disks, and a microjet. The data are used to constrain mass-loss rates due to photoevaporation, disk surface wind velocity, and grain size distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsP. Guhathakurta
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventDiscoveries and Research Prospects from 6- to 10- Meter-Class telescopes II - Waikoloa, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 22 2002Aug 23 2002


OtherDiscoveries and Research Prospects from 6- to 10- Meter-Class telescopes II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWaikoloa, HI


  • Adaptive optics
  • Interstellar medium
  • Orion Nebula
  • Planet formation
  • Pre-main-sequence stars
  • Star formation
  • Stellar jets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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