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Published March 20, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Panchromatic observations and modeling of the HV tau C edge-on disk


We present new high spatial resolution (≾0".1) 1-5 μm adaptive optics images, interferometric 1.3 mm continuum and ^(12)CO 2-1 maps, and 350 μm, 2.8 and 3.3 mm fluxes measurements of the HV Tau system. Our adaptive optics images unambiguously demonstrate that HV Tau AB-C is a common proper motion pair. They further reveal an unusually slow orbital motion within the tight HV Tau AB pair that suggests a highly eccentric orbit and/or a large deprojected physical separation. Scattered light images of the HV Tau C edge-on protoplanetary disk suggest that the anisotropy of the dust scattering phase function is almost independent of wavelength from 0.8 to 5 μm, whereas the dust opacity decreases significantly over the same range. The images further reveal a marked lateral asymmetry in the disk that does not vary over a timescale of two years. We further detect a radial velocity gradient in the disk in our ^(12)CO map that lies along the same position angle as the elongation of the continuum emission, which is consistent with Keplerian rotation around a 0.5-1 M_☉ central star, suggesting that it could be the most massive component in the triple system. To obtain a global representation of the HV Tau C disk, we search for a model that self-consistently reproduces observations of the disk from the visible regime up to millimeter wavelengths. We use a powerful radiative transfer model to compute synthetic disk observations and use a Bayesian inference method to extract constraints on the disk properties. Each individual image, as well as the spectral energy distribution, of HV Tau C can be well reproduced by our models with fully mixed dust provided grain growth has already produced larger-than-interstellar dust grains. However, no single model can satisfactorily simultaneously account for all observations. We suggest that future attempts to model this source include more complex dust properties and possibly vertical stratification. While both grain growth and stratification have already been suggested in many disks, only a panchromatic analysis, such as presented here, can provide a complete picture of the structure of a disk, a necessary step toward quantitatively testing the predictions of numerical models of disk evolution.

Additional Information

© 2010 The American Astronomical Society. Issue 1 (2010 March 20). Received 2009 July 6 , accepted for publication 2009 November 19. Published 2010 February 25. We are indebted to all members of the GEODE group for many fruitful discussions about modeling of edge-on protoplanetary disks, and in particular to Marshall Perrin for developing some of the model analysis tools used in this project. We are grateful to Darren Dowell for his help with the astrometric calibration of our CSO data and to the CARMA staff for conducting the observations presented in this paper. The work presented here has been funded in part by National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Adaptive Optics, managed by the University of California at Santa Cruz under cooperative agreement No. AST-9876783, by the Programme National de Physique Stellaire of CNRS/INSU (France), and by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche through contract ANR-07- BLAN-0221. C.P. acknowledges the funding from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Program as a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow (PIEF-GA-2008-220891). The authors acknowledge the contribution from Intel Corporation, Hewlett- Packard Corporation, IBM Corporation, and the National Science Foundation grant EIA-0303575 in making hardware and software available for the CITRIS Cluster which was used in producing some of the model computations presented in this paper. Support for CARMA 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. Ongoing CARMA development and operations are supported by the National Science Foundation under a cooperative agreement, and by the CARMA partner universities. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of theW. M.Keck Foundation. The authors recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community.We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. Facilities: Keck: II, VLT:Yepun, IRAM:Interferometer, CARMA, CSO.

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