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          Institute: MPI für Astronomie     Collection: Publikationen_mpia     Display Documents

ID: 720179.0, MPI für Astronomie / Publikationen_mpia
Spiral arms in scattered light images of protoplanetary discs: are they the signposts of planets?
Authors:Juhász, A.; Benisty, M.; Pohl, A.; Dullemond, C. P.; Dominik, C.; Paardekooper, S. -. J.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2015
Title of Journal:Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue / Number:2
Start Page:1147
End Page:1157
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:One of the striking discoveries of protoplanetary disc research in recent years are the spiral arms seen in several transitional discs in polarized scattered light. An interesting interpretation of the observed spiral features is that they are density waves launched by one or more embedded (proto)planets in the disc. In this paper, we investigate whether planets can be held responsible for the excitation mechanism of the observed spirals. We use locally isothermal hydrodynamic simulations as well as analytic formulae to model the spiral waves launched by planets. Then H-band scattered light images are calculated using a 3D continuum radiative transfer code to study the effect of surface density and pressure scaleheight perturbation on the detectability of the spirals. We find that a relative change of ˜3.5 in the surface density (δΣ/Σ) is required for the spirals to be detected with current telescopes in the near-infrared for sources at the distance of typical star-forming regions (140 pc). This value is a factor of 8 higher than what is seen in hydrodynamic simulations. We also find that a relative change of only 0.2 in pressure scaleheight is sufficient to create detectable signatures under the same conditions. Therefore, we suggest that the spiral arms observed to date in protoplanetary discs are the results of changes in the vertical structure of the disc (e.g. pressure scaleheight perturbation) instead of surface density perturbations.
Free Keywords:scattering; planet-disc interactions; protoplanetary discs; circumstellar matter; stars: formation; infrared: stars
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astronomie
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