Vertical settling and radial segregation of large dust grains in the circumstellar disk of the Butterfly Star
1 University of Kiel, Institute for Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Leibnizstrasse 15, 24118 Kiel, Germany
2 Univ. Bordeaux, LAB, UMR 5804, 33270 Floirac, France
3 CNRS, LAB, UMR 5804, 33270 Floirac, France
4 Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
5 Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Received: 12 November 2012
Accepted: 13 March 2013
Context. Circumstellar disks are considered to be the environment for the formation of planets. The growth of dust grains in these disks is the first step in the core accretion-gas capture planet formation scenario. Indicators and evidence of disk evolution can be traced in spatially resolved images and the spectral energy distribution (SED) of these objects.
Aims. We develop a model for the dust phase of the edge-on oriented circumstellar disk of the Butterfly Star which allows one to fit observed multi-wavelength images and the SED simultaneously.
Methods. Our model is based on spatially resolved high angular resolution observations at 1.3 mm, 894 μm, 2.07 μm, 1.87 μm, 1.60 μm, and 1.13 μm and an extensively covered SED ranging from 12 μm to 2.7 mm, including a detailed spectrum obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope in the range from 12 μm to 38 μm. A parameter study based on a grid search method involving the detailed analysis of every parameter was performed to constrain the disk parameters and find the best-fit model for the independent observations. The individual observations were modeled simultaneously, using our continuum radiative transfer code.
Results. We derived a model that is capable of reproducing all of the observations of the disk at the same time. We find quantitative evidence for grain growth up to ~100 μm-sized particles, vertical settling of larger dust grains toward the disk midplane, and radial segregation of the latter toward the central star. Within our best-fit model the large grains have a distribution with a scale height of 3.7 AU at 100 AU and a radial extent of 175 AU compared to a hydrostatic scale height of 6.9 AU at 100 AU and an outer disk radius of 300 AU. Our results are consistent with current theoretical models for the evolution of circumstellar disks and the early stages of planet formation.
Key words: protoplanetary disks / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: individual: IRAS 04302+2247 / circumstellar matter / planets and satellites: formation / radiative transfer
© ESO, 2013