Protoplanet Imaged at LkCa 15?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Protoplanet Imaged at LkCa 15?

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 18th October 2011, 9:16 pm

LkCa 15: A Young Exoplanet Caught at Formation?
http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.3808

Young and directly imaged exoplanets offer critical tests of planet-formation models that are not matched by RV surveys of mature stars. These targets have been extremely elusive to date, with no exoplanets younger than 10--20 Myr and only a handful of direct-imaged exoplanets at all ages. We report the direct imaging discovery of a likely (proto)planet around the young (~2 Myr) solar analog LkCa 15, located inside a known gap in the protoplanetary disk (a "transitional disk"). Our observations use non-redundant aperture masking interferometry at 3 epochs to reveal a faint and relatively blue point source ($M_K'=9.1+/-0.2, K'-L'=0.98+/-0.22), flanked by approximately co-orbital emission that is red and resolved into at least two sources (M_L'=7.5+/-0.2, K'-L'=2.7+/-0.3; M_L'=7.4+/-0.2, K'-L'=1.94+/-0.16). We propose that the most likely geometry consists of a newly-formed (proto)planet that is surrounded by dusty material. The nominal estimated mass is ~6 M_{Jup} according to the 1 Myr hot-start models. However, we argue based on its luminosity, color, and the presence of circumplanetary material that the planet has likely been caught at its epoch of assembly, and hence this mass is an upper limit due to its extreme youth and flux contributed by accretion. The projected separations (71.9 +/- 1.6 mas, 100.7 +/- 1.9 mas, and 88.2 +/- 1.8 mas) and deprojected orbital radii (16, 21, and 19 AU) correspond to the center of the disk gap, but are too close to the primary star for a circular orbit to account for the observed inner edge of the outer disk, so an alternate explanation (i.e., additional planets or an eccentric orbit) is likely required. This discovery is the first direct evidence that at least some transitional disks do indeed host newly-formed (or forming) exoplanetary systems, and the observed properties provide crucial insight into the gas giant formation process.

A Closer Look at the LkCa 15 Protoplanetary Disk
http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.3865

We present 870 micron observations of dust continuum emission from the LkCa 15 protoplanetary disk at high angular resolution (with a characteristic scale of 0.25" = 35 AU), obtained with the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer and supplemented by slightly lower resolution observations from the Submillimeter Array. We fit these data with simple morphological models to characterize the spectacular ring-like emission structure of this disk. Our analysis indicates that a small amount of 870 micron dust emission (~5 mJy) originates inside a large (40-50 AU radius) low optical depth cavity. This result can be interpreted either in the context of an abrupt decrease by a factor of ~5 in the radial distribution of millimeter-sized dust grains or as indirect evidence for a gap in the disk, in agreement with previous inferences from the unresolved infrared spectrum and scattered light images. A preliminary model focused on the latter possibility suggests the presence of a low-mass (planetary) companion, having properties commensurate with those inferred from the recent discovery of LkCa 15b.

_________________
Caps Lock: Cruise control for 'Cool'!
avatar
Sirius_Alpha
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 3493
Location : Earth
Registration date : 2008-04-06

View user profile http://solar-flux.forumandco.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Protoplanet Imaged at LkCa 15?

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 23rd April 2014, 8:33 pm

Searching for circumplanetary disks around LkCa 15
http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.5627

We present Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) observations of the 7 mm continuum emission from the disk surrounding the young star LkCa 15. The observations achieve an angular resolution of 70 mas and spatially resolve the circumstellar emission on a spatial scale of 9 AU. The continuum emission traces a dusty annulus of 45 AU in radius that is consistent with the dust morphology observed at shorter wavelengths. The VLA observations also reveal a compact source at the center of the disk, possibly due to thermal emission from hot dust or ionized gas located within a few AU from the central star. No emission is observed between the star and the dusty ring, and, in particular, at the position of the candidate protoplanet LkCa 15 b. By comparing the observations with theoretical models for circumplanetary disk emission, we find that if LkCa~15~b is a massive planet (>5 M_J) accreting at a rate greater than 1.e-6 M_J yr^{-1}, then its circumplanetary disk is less massive than 0.1 M_J, or smaller than 0.4 Hill radii. Similar constraints are derived for any possible circumplanetary disk orbiting within 45 AU from the central star. The mass estimate are uncertain by at least one order of magnitude due to the uncertainties on the mass opacity. Future ALMA observations of this system might be able to detect circumplanetary disks down to a mass of 5.e-4 M_J and as small as 0.2 AU, providing crucial constraints on the presence of giant planets in the act of forming around this young star.

_________________
Caps Lock: Cruise control for 'Cool'!
avatar
Sirius_Alpha
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 3493
Location : Earth
Registration date : 2008-04-06

View user profile http://solar-flux.forumandco.com/

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum