RMHD of protoplanetary discs (Flock et al.)

Vol. 560
In section 10. Planets and planetary systems

Radiation magnetohydrodynamics in global simulations of protoplanetary discs

by M. Flock, S. Fromang, M. González, and B. Commerçon, A&A 560, A43


The authors present the first global tridimensional simulations of an irradiated turbulent protoplanetary disk that combines radiative transfer and magneto-hydrodynamics. The authors focus the study on a disk similar in density and scale height to the so-called Minimum Mass Solar Nebula. The turbulent properties are similar to those obtained by locally isothermal simulations with a rate of angular momentum transfer that corresponds to an alpha parameter of a few times 1e-3. The thermal structure that is obtained is nearly isothermal in the mid-plane of the disk with a strongly increasing temperature away from the mid-plane. Interestingly, even in regions where viscous heating should dominate, the simulations do not yield the standard vertical temperature structure gradient with a warmer mid-plane because, contrary to what is usually assumed, the turbulent heating occurs mostly away from the mid-plane. This paper therefore has strong implications for the study of protoplanetary disks.