Observability of characteristic binary-induced structures in circumbinary disks
University of Kiel, Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Leibnizstrasse 15, 24118 Kiel, Germany
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 18 November 2016
Accepted: 9 February 2017
Context. A substantial fraction of protoplanetary disks form around stellar binaries. The binary system generates a time-dependent non-axisymmetric gravitational potential, inducing strong tidal forces on the circumbinary disk. This leads to a change in basic physical properties of the circumbinary disk, which should in turn result in unique structures that are potentially observable with the current generation of instruments.
Aims. The goal of this study is to identify these characteristic structures, constrain the physical conditions that cause them, and evaluate the feasibility of observing them in circumbinary disks.
Methods. To achieve this, first we perform 2D hydrodynamic simulations. The resulting density distributions are post-processed with a 3D radiative transfer code to generate re-emission and scattered light maps. Based on these distributions, we study the influence of various parameters, such as the mass of the stellar components, mass of the disk, and binary separation on observable features in circumbinary disks.
Results. We find that the Atacama Large (sub-)Millimetre Array (ALMA) as well as the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) are capable of tracing asymmetries in the inner region of circumbinary disks, which are affected most by the binary-disk interaction. Observations at submillimetre/millimetre wavelengths allow the detection of the density waves at the inner rim of the disk and inner cavity. With the E-ELT one can partially resolve the innermost parts of the disk in the infrared wavelength range, including the disk’s rim, accretion arms, and potentially the expected circumstellar disks around each of the binary components.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / binaries: general / hydrodynamics / radiative transfer
© ESO, 2017