Status Report

What is the Mass of a Gap-Opening Planet?

By SpaceRef Editor
December 16, 2016
Filed under , , ,

Ruobing Dong (Arizona), Jeffrey Fung (UC Berkeley)
(Submitted on 14 Dec 2016)

High contrast imaging instruments such as GPI and SPHERE are discovering gap structures in protoplanetary disks at an ever faster pace. Some of these gaps may be opened by planets forming in the disks. In order to constrain planet formation models using disk observations, it is crucial to find a robust way to quantitatively back out the properties of the gap-opening planets, in particular their masses, from the observed gap properties, such as their depths and widths. Combing 2D and 3D hydrodynamics simulations with 3D radiative transfer simulations, we investigate the morphology of planet-opened gaps in near-infrared scattered light images. Quantitatively, we obtain correlations that directly link intrinsic gap depths and widths in the gas surface density to observed depths and widths in images of disks at modest inclinations under finite angular resolution. Subsequently, the properties of the surface density gaps enable us to derive the disk scale height at the location of the gap h, and to constrain the quantity M2p/α, where Mp is the mass of the gap-opening planet and α characterizes the viscosity in the gap. As examples, we examine the gaps recently imaged by VLT/SPHERE, Gemini/GPI, and Subaru/HiCIAO in HD 97048, TW Hya, HD 169142, LkCa 15, and RX J1615.3-3255. Scale heights of the disks and possible masses of the gap-opening planets are derived assuming each gap is opened by a single planet. Assuming α=10−3, the derived planet mass in all cases are roughly between 0.1-1 MJ.

Comments: 40 pages (single column), 14 figures, 2 tables, ApJ accepted
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:1612.04821 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1612.04821v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Ruobing Dong
[v1] Wed, 14 Dec 2016 21:00:01 GMT (1978kb,D) 

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