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The Astrophysical Journal






The American Astronomical Society


In this paper we present high-resolution 4.7 μm spectra of the isolated Herbig Be star HD 100546. HD 100546 has been the subject of intense scrutiny because it is a young nearby star with a transitional disk. We observe the Δv = 1 rovibrational CO transitions in order to clarify the distribution of warm gas in the inner disk. Modeling of the CO spectrum indicates that the gas is vibrationally excited by collisions and UV fluorescence. The observed emission extends from 13 to 100 AU. The inner edge of the molecular gas emission is consistent with the inner edge of the optically thick dust disk indicating that the inner hole is not simply a hole in the dust opacity but is likely cleared of gas as well. The rotational temperature of the CO is ~1000 K—much hotter than the ~200 K CO in the otherwise similar transitional disk surrounding HD 141569. The origin of this discrepancy is likely linked to the brighter polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission observed toward HD 100546. We use the excitation of the CO to constrain the geometry of the inner disk and comment on the evolutionary state of the system.


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