Observational diagnostics of elongated planet-induced vortices with realistic planet formation timescales

Michael Hammer, Paola Pinilla, Kaitlin M. Kratter, Min Kai Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gap-opening planets can generate dust-trapping vortices that may explain some of the latest discoveries of high-contrast crescent-shaped dust asymmetries in transition discs. While planet-induced vortices were previously thought to have concentrated shapes, recent computational work has shown that these features naturally become much more elongated in the gas when simulations account for the relatively long timescale over which planets accrete their mass. In this work, we conduct two-fluid hydrodynamical simulations of vortices induced by slowly-growing Jupiter-mass planets in discs with very low viscosity (α = 3×105). We simulate the dust dynamics for four particle sizes spanning 0.3 mm to 1 cm in order to produce synthetic ALMA images. In our simulations, we find that an elongated vortex still traps dust, but not directly at its center. With a flatter pressure bump and disruptions from the planet's overlapping spiral density waves, the dust instead circulates around the vortex. This motion (1) typically carries the peak off-center, (2) spreads the dust out over a wider azimuthal extent > 180, (3) skews the azimuthal profile towards the front of the vortex, and (4) can also create double peaks in newly-formed vortices. In particular, we expect that the most defining observational signature, a peak offset of more than 30, should be detectable > 30% of the time in observations with a beam diameter of at most the planet's separation from its star.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Sep 19 2018


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Instability
  • Methods:numerical
  • Protoplanetary discs
  • Transition discs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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