Volume 554, June 2013
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||10 June 2013|
Explaining millimeter-sized particles in brown dwarf disks
1 Universität Heidelberg, Zentrum für Astronomie, Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Albert-Ueberle-Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2 Member of IMPRS for Astronomy & Cosmic Physics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
4 Excellence Cluster Universe, Boltzmannstr. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
5 Laboratoire d’Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble, CNRS/UJF UMR 5571, 414 rue de la Piscine, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
6 California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA, 91125, USA
7 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
8 School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, Ireland
9 Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 94249, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
10 Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
11 European Southern Observatory, Karl Schwarzschild Str. 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
Received: 7 December 2012
Accepted: 22 April 2013
Context. Planets have been detected around a variety of stars, including low-mass objects, such as brown dwarfs. However, such extreme cases are challenging for planet formation models. Recent sub-millimeter observations of disks around brown dwarf measured low spectral indices of the continuum emission that suggest that dust grains grow to mm-sizes even in these very low mass environments.
Aims. To understand the first steps of planet formation in scaled-down versions of T-Tauri disks, we investigate the physical conditions that can theoretically explain the growth from interstellar dust to millimeter-sized grains in disks around brown dwarf.
Methods. We modeled the evolution of dust particles under conditions of low-mass disks around brown dwarfs. We used coagulation, fragmentation, and disk-structure models to simulate the evolution of dust, with zero and non-zero radial drift. For the non-zero radial drift, we considered strong inhomogeneities in the gas surface density profile that mimic long-lived pressure bumps in the disk. We studied different scenarios that could lead to an agreement between theoretical models and the spectral slope found by millimeter observations.
Results. We find that fragmentation is less likely and rapid inward drift is more significant for particles in brown dwarf disks than in T-Tauri disks. We present different scenarios that can nevertheless explain millimeter-sized grains. As an example, a model that combines the following parameters can fit the millimeter fluxes measured for brown dwarf disks: strong pressure inhomogeneities of ~40% of amplitude, a small radial extent ~15 AU, a moderate turbulence strength αturb = 10-3, and average fragmentation velocities for ices vf = 10 m s-1.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / protoplanetary disks / circumstellar matter / brown dwarfs / planets and satellites: formation
© ESO, 2013
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