Accreting planets as dust dams in "transition" disks

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Title: Accreting planets as dust dams in "transition" disks
Authors: Owen, JE
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We investigate under what circumstances an embedded planet in a protoplanetary disk may sculpt the dust distribution such that it observationally presents as a "transition" disk. We concern ourselves with "transition" disks that have large holes (gsim 10 AU) and high accretion rates (~10–9-10–8 M ☉ yr–1), particularly, those disks which photoevaporative models struggle to explain. Adopting the observed accretion rates in "transition" disks, we find that the accretion luminosity from the forming planet is significant, and can dominate over the stellar luminosity at the gap edge. This planetary accretion luminosity can apply a significant radiation pressure to small (s lesssim 1 μm) dust particles provided they are suitably decoupled from the gas. Secular evolution calculations that account for the evolution of the gas and dust components in a disk with an embedded, accreting planet, show that only with the addition of the radiation pressure can we explain the full observed characteristics of a "transition" disk (NIR dip in the spectral energy distribution (SED), millimeter cavity, and high accretion rate). At suitably high planet masses (gsim 3-4 MJ ), radiation pressure from the accreting planet is able to hold back the small dust particles, producing a heavily dust-depleted inner disk that is optically thin to infrared radiation. The planet-disk system will present as a "transition" disk with a dip in the SED only when the planet mass and planetary accretion rate are high enough. At other times, it will present as a disk with a primordial SED, but with a cavity in the millimeter, as observed in a handful of protoplanetary disks.
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2014
Date of Acceptance: 13-May-2014
ISSN: 0004-637X
Journal / Book Title: The Astrophysical Journal
Volume: 789
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
0305 Organic Chemistry
0306 Physical Chemistry (Incl. Structural)
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 59
Online Publication Date: 2014-06-16
Appears in Collections:Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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