Context. Hydrodynamical simulations of planet-disk interactions suggest that planets may be responsible for a number of the substructures frequently observed in disks in both scattered light and dust thermal emission. Despite the ubiquity of these features, direct evidence of planets embedded in disks and of the specific interaction features like spiral arms within planetary gaps are still rare.
Aims: In this study we discuss recent observational results in the context of hydrodynamical simulations in order to infer the properties of a putative embedded planet in the cavity of a transition disk.
Methods: We imaged the transition disk SR 21 in H-band in scattered light with SPHERE/IRDIS and in thermal dust emission with ALMA band 3 (3 mm) observations at a spatial resolution of 0.1″. We combine these datasets with existing Band 9 (430 μm) and Band 7 (870 μm) ALMA continuum data.
Results: The Band 3 continuum data reveals a large cavity and a bright ring peaking at 53 au strongly suggestive of dust trapping. The ring shows a pronounced azimuthal asymmetry, with a bright region in the northwest that we interpret as a dust overdensity. A similarly asymmetric ring is revealed at the same location in polarized scattered light, in addition to a set of bright spirals inside the millimeter cavity and a fainter spiral bridging the gap to the outer ring. These features are consistent with a number of previous hydrodynamical models of planet-disk interactions, and suggest the presence of a ˜1 MJup planet at 44 au and PA = 11 deg. This makes SR21 the first disk showing spiral arms inside the millimeter cavity, and the first disk for which the location of a putative planet can be precisely inferred.
Conclusions: The main features of SR 21 in both scattered light and thermal emission are consistent with hydrodynamical predictions of planet-disk interactions. With the location of a possible planet being well constrained by observations, it is an ideal candidate for follow-up observations to search for direct evidence of a planetary companion still embedded in its disk.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- April 2020
- protoplanetary disks;
- techniques: polarimetric;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 7 pages, 4 figures