Volume 579, July 2015
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||08 July 2015|
Tracing planet-induced structures in circumstellar disks using molecular lines⋆
1 Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, University of Kiel, Leibnizstraße 15, 24118 Kiel, Germany
2 Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3 University of Chicago, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysik, 5640 S. Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Received: 17 March 2015
Accepted: 11 May 2015
Context. Circumstellar disks are considered to be the birthplace of planets. Specific structures like spiral arms, gaps, and cavities are characteristic indicators of planet-disk interaction. Investigating these structures can provide insights into the growth of protoplanets and the physical properties of the disk.
Aims. We investigate the feasibility of using molecular lines to trace planet-induced structures in circumstellar disks.
Methods. Based on 3D hydrodynamic simulations of planet-disk interactions obtained with the PLUTO code, we perform self-consistent temperature calculations and produce N-LTE molecular line velocity-channel maps and spectra of these disks using our new N-LTE line radiative transfer code Mol3D. Subsequently, we simulate ALMA observations using the CASA simulator. We consider two nearly face-on inclinations, five disk masses, seven disk radii, and two different typical pre-main-sequence host stars (T Tauri, Herbig Ae) at a distance of 140 pc. We calculate up to 141 individual velocity-channel maps for five molecules/isotopoloques (12C16O, 12C18O, HCO+, HCN, and CS) in a total of 32 rotational transitions to investigate the frequency dependence of the structures indicated above.
Results. We find that the majority of protoplanetary disks in our parameter space could be detected in the molecular lines considered. However, unlike the continuum case, gap detection is not straightforward in lines. For example, gaps are not seen in symmetric rings but are masked by the pattern caused by the global (Keplerian) velocity field. By comparison with simulated observations of undisturbed disks we identify specific regions in the velocity-channel maps that are characteristic of planet-induced structures.
Conclusions. Simulations of high angular resolution molecular line observations demonstrate the potential of ALMA to provide complementary information about the planet-disk interaction as compared to continuum observations. In particular, the detection of planet-induced gaps is possible under certain conditions.
Key words: protoplanetary disks / planet-disk interactions / radiative transfer / line: formation
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015
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