Homogeneous Analysis of the Dust Morphology of Transition Disks Observed with ALMA: Investigating Dust Trapping and the Origin of the Cavities

P. Pinilla, M. Tazzari, I. Pascucci, A. N. Youdin, A. Garufi, C. F. Manara, L. Testi, G. Van Der Plas, S. A. Barenfeld, H. Canovas, E. G. Cox, N. P. Hendler, L. M. Pérez, N. Van Der Marel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

We analyze the dust morphology of 29 transition disks (TDs) observed with Atacama Large (sub-)Millimeter Array (ALMA) at (sub-)millimeter emission. We perform the analysis in the visibility plane to characterize the total flux, cavity size, and shape of the ring-like structure. First, we found that the M dust-M relation is much flatter for TDs than the observed trends from samples of class II sources in different star-forming regions. This relation demonstrates that cavities open in high (dust) mass disks, independent of the stellar mass. The flatness of this relation contradicts the idea that TDs are a more evolved set of disks. Two potential reasons (not mutually exclusive) may explain this flat relation: the emission is optically thick or/and millimeter-sized particles are trapped in a pressure bump. Second, we discuss our results of the cavity size and ring width in the context of different physical processes for cavity formation. Photoevaporation is an unlikely leading mechanism for the origin of the cavity of any of the targets in the sample. Embedded giant planets or dead zones remain as potential explanations. Although both models predict correlations between the cavity size and the ring shape for different stellar and disk properties, we demonstrate that with the current resolution of the observations, it is difficult to obtain these correlations. Future observations with higher angular resolution observations of TDs with ALMA will help discern between different potential origins of cavities in TDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume859
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 20 2018

Keywords

  • accretion, accretion disks
  • circumstellar matter
  • planets and satellites: formation
  • protoplanetary disks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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