Detecting giant planets in protoplanetary disks by CO emission lines

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Detecting giant planets in protoplanetary disks by CO emission lines

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 14th July 2010, 2:52 am

Detectability of giant planets in protoplanetary disks by CO emission lines

Abstract wrote:In this paper we intend to provide an indirect method to detect Jovian planets by studying near infrared emission spectra originating in the protoplanetary disks around T Tauri stars. Our idea is to investigate whether a massive planet could induce any observable effect on the spectral lines emerging in the disks atmosphere. As a tracer molecule we propose CO, being excited in the ro-vibrational fundamental band in the disk atmosphere to a distance of ~2-3 AU (depending on the stellar mass) where terrestrial planets thought to form. The synthetic molecular spectral line profiles were calculated by an own developed semi-analytical double layer disk model. 2D gas dynamics were incorporated in the calculation of synthetic spectral lines. We demonstrate that a massive planet embedded in a protoplanetary disk strongly influences the originally circularly Keplerian gas dynamics. The perturbed motion of the gas can be detected by comparing the CO line profiles in emission emerging from planet-bearing to those of planet-free disk models. The planet signal has two major characteristics: a permanent line profile asymmetry, and short timescale variability correlated with the orbital phase of the giant planet. We have found that the strength of the asymmetry depends on the physical parameters of the star-planet-disk system, such as the disk inclination angle, the planetary and stellar masses, the orbital distance, and the size of the disk inner cavity. The permanent line profile asymmetry is caused by a disk being in an eccentric state in the gap opened by the giant planet. However, the variable component is a consequence of the local dynamical perturbation by the orbiting giant planet. We show that a forming giant planet, still embedded in the protoplanetary disk, can be detected using contemporary or future high-resolution near-IR spectrographs like VLT/CRIRES and ELT/METIS.

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