Observing the gas component of circumplanetary disks around wide-orbit planet-mass companions in the (sub)mm regime
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen,
PO Box 800,
Groningen, The Netherlands
2 Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
4 SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
5 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
6 SUPA, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews KY16 9SS, UK
Accepted: 6 February 2019
Context. Several detections of wide-orbit planet-mass/substellar companions around young solar-like stars were reported in the last decade. The origin of those possible planets is still unclear, but accretion tracers and VLT/SPHERE observations indicate that they are surrounded by circumplanetary material or even a circumplanetary disk (CPD).
Aims. We want to investigate if the gas component of disks around wide-orbit companions is detectable with current (ALMA) and future (ngVLA; sub)mm telescopes and what constraints such gas observations can provide on the nature of the circumplanetary material and the mass of the companion.
Methods. We applied the radiation thermochemical disk code PRODIMO to model the dust and gas component of passive CPDs and produced realistic synthetic observables. We considered different companion properties (mass, luminosity), disk parameters (mass, size, and dust properties) and radiative environments (background fields) and compared the resulting synthetic observables to telescope sensitivities and existing dust observations.
Results. The main criterion for a successful detection is the size of the CPD. At a distance of about 150 pc, a CPD with an outer radius of about 10 au is detectable with ALMA in about six hours in optically thick CO lines. Other aspects, such as the luminosity, disk inclination, and background radiation fields of the companion, are also relevant and should be considered to optimize the observing strategy for detection experiments.
Conclusions. For most of the known wide-orbit planet-mass companions, their maximum theoretical disk size of one-third of the Hill radius would be sufficient to allow detection of CO lines. It is therefore feasible to detect their gas disks and constrain the mass of the companion through the kinematic signature. Even in the case of non-detections such observations provide stringent constraints on disk size and gas mass, and this information is crucial for formation theories.
Key words: planets and satellites: formation / submillimeter: planetary systems / stars: pre-main sequence / accretion, accretion disks / methods: numerical / planetary systems
© ESO 2019