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Published February 20, 2013 | Published
Journal Article Open

CARMA Interferometric Observations of 2MASS J044427+2512: The First Spatially Resolved Observations of Thermal Emission of a Brown Dwarf Disk


We present CARMA 1.3 mm continuum data of the disk surrounding the young brown dwarf 2MASS J044427+2512 in the Taurus molecular cloud. The high angular resolution of the CARMA observations (0."16) allows us to spatially resolve for the first time the thermal emission from dust around a brown dwarf. We analyze the interferometric visibilities and constrain the disk outer radius adopting disk models with power-law radial profiles of the dust surface density. In the case of a power-law index ≤1, we obtain a disk radius in the range of about 15-30 AU, while larger disks are inferred for steeper radial profiles. By combining this information on the disk spatial extent with the sub-mm spectral index of this source, we find conclusive evidence for mm-sized grains, or larger, in this brown dwarf disk. We discuss the implications of our results on the models of dust evolution in protoplanetary disks and brown dwarf formation.

Additional Information

© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 December 17; accepted 2013 January 11; published 2013 February 7. We thank the OVRO/CARMA staff and CARMA observers for their assistance in obtaining the data. A.I. and J.M.C. acknowledge support from NSF grant AST-1109334. Support for CARMA construction was derived from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, James S. McDonnell Foundation, Associates of the California Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, states of California, Illinois, Maryland, and NSF. Ongoing CARMA development and operations are supported by NSF under a cooperative agreement, and by the CARMA partner universities. We acknowledge support from the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, which is supported by the NSF grant AST-1140063.

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