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Investigating Planet Formation in Circumstellar Disks: CARMA Observations of Ry Tau and Dg Tau

Isella, Andrea and Carpenter, John M. and Sargent, Anneila I. (2010) Investigating Planet Formation in Circumstellar Disks: CARMA Observations of Ry Tau and Dg Tau. Astrophysical Journal, 714 (2). pp. 1746-1761. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present CARMA observations of the thermal dust emission from the circumstellar disks around the young stars RY Tau and DG Tau at wavelengths of 1.3 mm and 2.8 mm. The angular resolution of the maps is as high as 0".15, or 20 AU at the distance of the Taurus cloud, which is a factor of 2 higher than has been achieved to date at these wavelengths. The unprecedented detail of the resulting disk images enables us to address three important questions related to the formation of planets. (1) What is the radial distribution of the circumstellar dust? (2) Does the dust emission show any indication of gaps that might signify the presence of (proto-)planets? (3) Do the dust properties depend on the orbital radius? We find that modeling the disk surface density in terms of either a classical power law or the similarity solution for viscous disk evolution reproduces the observations well. Both models constrain the surface density between 15 and 50 AU to within 30% for a given dust opacity. Outside this range, the densities inferred from the two models differ by almost an order of magnitude. The 1.3 mm image from RY Tau shows two peaks separated by 0."2 with a decline in the dust emission toward the stellar position, which is significant at about 2σ-4σ. For both RY Tau and DG Tau, the dust emission at radii larger than 15 AU displays no significant deviation from an unperturbed viscous disk model. In particular, no radial gaps in the dust distribution are detected. Under reasonable assumptions, we exclude the presence of planets more massive than 5 M_J orbiting either star at distances between about 10 and 60 AU, unless such a planet is so young that there has been insufficient time to open a gap in the disk surface density. The radial variation of the dust opacity slope, β, was investigated by comparing the 1.3 mm and 2.8 mm observations. We find mean values of β of 0.5 and 0.7 for DG Tau and RY Tau, respectively. Variations in β are smaller than Δβ = 0.7 between 20 and 70 AU. These results confirm that the circumstellar dust throughout these disks differs significantly from dust in the interstellar medium.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Isella, Andrea0000-0001-8061-2207
Carpenter, John M.0000-0003-2251-0602
Sargent, Anneila I.0000-0002-4633-5098
Additional Information:© 2010 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2009 August 12; accepted 2010 March 22; published 2010 April 22. We thank Antonella Natta and referee Steven Beckwith for reading the manuscript and providing helpful suggestions. We thank the OVRO/CARMA staff and the CARMA observers for their assistance in obtaining the data. Support for the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter Astronomy construction was derived from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, the Associates of the California Institute of Technology, the states of California, Illinois, and Maryland, and the National Science Foundation. OngoingCARMAdevelopment and operations are supported by the National Science Foundation under a cooperative agreement (grant AST 08-38260), and by the CARMA partner universities. This work was performed in part under contract with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) funded by NASA through the Michelson Fellowship Program. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Michelson FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:accretion, accretion disks – stars: pre-main sequence – stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be – submillimeter: planetary systems – techniques: interferometric
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:PACS: 97.10.Fy; 95.85.Bh; 98.38.Dq; 98.38.Cp; 97.82.-j; 97.21.+a.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100526-110237571
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Official Citation:Andrea Isella et al 2010 ApJ 714 1746 doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/714/2/1746
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18454
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Jun 2010 21:38
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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