Ring shaped dust accumulation in transition disks
Universität Heidelberg, Zentrum für Astronomie, Institut für Theoretische
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
Received: 30 March 2012
Accepted: 26 July 2012
Context. Transition disks are believed to be the final stages of protoplanetary disks, during which a forming planetary system or photoevaporation processes open a gap in the inner disk, drastically changing the disk structure. From theoretical arguments it is expected that dust growth, fragmentation and radial drift are strongly influenced by gas disk structure, and pressure bumps in disks have been suggested as key features that may allow grains to converge and grow efficiently.
Aims. We want to study how the presence of a large planet in a disk influences the growth and radial distribution of dust grains, and how observable properties are linked to the mass of the planet.
Methods. We combined two-dimensional hydrodynamical disk simulations of disk-planet interactions with state-of-the-art coagulation/fragmentation models to simulate the evolution of dust in a disk, which has a gap created by a massive planet. We computed images at different wavelengths and illustrated our results using the example of the transition disk LkCa15.
Results. The gap opened by a planet and the long-range interaction between the planet and the outer disk create a single large pressure bump outside the planetary orbit. Millimeter-sized particles form and accumulate at the pressure maximum and naturally produce ring-shaped sub-millimeter emission that is long-lived because radial drift no longer depletes the large grain population of the disk. For large planet masses around 9 MJup, the pressure maximum and, therefore, the ring of millimeter particles is located at distances that can be more than twice the star-planet separation, creating a large spatial separation between the gas inner edge of the outer disk and the peak millimeter emission. Smaller grains do get closer to the gap and we predict how the surface brightness varies at different wavelengths.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / circumstellar matter / stars: pre-main sequence / planetary systems / planets and satellites: formation / stars: individual: LkCa15
© ESO, 2012