Trapping dust particles in the outer regions of protoplanetary disks
1 Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Albert-Ueberle-Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3 University Observatory Munich, Scheinerstr. 1, 81679 München, Germany
4 Excellence Cluster Universe, Boltzmannstr. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
5 Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
6 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
7 INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
Received: 4 October 2011
Accepted: 5 December 2011
Aims. We attempt to explain grain growth to mm sized particles and their retention in the outer regions of protoplanetary disks, as observed at sub-mm and mm wavelengths, by investigating whether strong inhomogeneities in the gas density profiles can decelerate excessive radial drift and help the dust particles to grow.
Methods. We use coagulation/fragmentation and disk-structure models, to simulate the evolution of dust in a bumpy surface density profile, which we mimic with a sinusoidal disturbance. For different values of the amplitude and length scale of the bumps, we investigate the ability of this model to produce and retain large particles on million-year timescales. In addition, we compare the pressure inhomogeneities considered in this work with the pressure profiles that come from magnetorotational instability. Using the Common Astronomy Software Applications ALMA simulator, we study whether there are observational signatures of these pressure inhomogeneities that can be seen with ALMA.
Results. We present the conditions required to trap dust particles and the corresponding calculations predicting the spectral slope in the mm-wavelength range, to compare with current observations. Finally, we present simulated images using different antenna configurations of ALMA at different frequencies, to show that the ring structures will be detectable at the distances of either the Taurus Auriga or Ophiucus star-forming regions.
Key words: circumstellar matter / accretion, accretion disks / stars: pre-main sequence / planet and satellites: formation / protoplanetary disks
© ESO, 2012