Observing dust settling and coagulation in circumstellar discs
Selected constraints from high resolution imaging
Institut für Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Universität zu
15, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Accepted: 18 November 2010
Context. Circumstellar discs are expected to be the nursery of planets. Grain growth within these discs is the first step in the planet formation process in the core-accretion gas-capture scenario.
Aims. We aim to provide selection criteria for observational quantities derived from multiwavelength imaging observations that allow us to identify dust grain growth and settling.
Methods. We define a wide-ranged parameter space of discs in various states of their evolution. Using a parametrised model set-up and radiative transfer techniques, we compute multiwavelength images of discs at different inclinations.
Results. Using millimetre and sub-millimetre images, we are in the position to constrain the process of dust grain growth and sedimentation. However, the degeneracy between parameters prohibit the same achievement using near- to mid-infrared images. Using face-on observations in the N and Q band, the sedimentation height can be constrained.
Key words: protoplanetary discs / radiative transfer / circumstellar matter / stars: formation
© ESO, 2011