Evidence of Fast Pebble Growth Near Condensation Fronts in the HL Tau Protoplanetary Disk
Water and simple organic molecular ices dominate the mass of solid materials available for planetesimal and planet formation beyond the water snow line. Here we analyze ALMA long baseline 2.9, 1.3 and 0.87 mm continuum images of the young star HL Tau, and suggest that the emission dips observed are due to rapid pebble growth around the condensation fronts of abundant volatile species. Specifically, we show that the prominent innermost dip at 13 AU is spatially resolved in the 0.87 mm image, and its center radius is coincident with the expected mid-plane condensation front of water ice. In addition, two other prominent dips, at distances of 32 and 63 AU, cover the mid-plane condensation fronts of pure ammonia or ammonia hydrates and clathrate hydrates (especially with CO and N_2) formed from amorphous water ice. The spectral index map of HL Tau between 1.3 and 0.87 mm shows that the flux ratios inside the dips are statistically larger than those of nearby regions in the disk. This variation can be explained by a model with two dust populations, where most of the solid mass resides in a component that has grown to decimeter size scales inside the dips. Such growth is in accord with recent numerical simulations of volatile condensation, dust coagulation, and settling.
© 2015 American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 April 5; accepted 2015 May 4; published 2015 June 4. This paper makes use of the following ALMA data sets: ADS/JAO.ALMA#2011.0.00015.SV. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. The authors gratefully acknowledge support provided by the NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics, NSF INSPIRE (AST-1344133), and NASA Origins of Solar Systems grant programs.
Submitted - 1505.00882v1.pdf
Published - 2041-8205_806_1_L7.pdf