Context. A key piece of information to understand the origin and role of protoplanetary disk substructures is their dust content. In particular, disk substructures associated with gas pressure bumps can work as dust traps, accumulating grains and reaching the necessary conditions to trigger the streaming instability.
Aims: In order to shed some light on the origin and role that disk substructures play in planet formation, we aim to characterize the dust content of substructures in the disk of TW Hya.
Methods: We present Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) observations of TW Hya at 3.1 mm with ~50 milliarcsecond resolution. These new data were combined with archival high angular resolution ALMA observations at 0.87, 1.3, and 2.1 mm. We analyze these multiwavelength data to infer a disk radial profile of the dust surface density, maximum particle size, and slope of the particle size distribution.
Results: Most previously known annular substructures in the disk of TW Hya are resolved at the four wavelengths. Inside the inner 3 au cavity, the 2.1 and 3.1 mm images show a compact source of free-free emission, likely associated with an ionized jet. Our multiwavelength analysis of the dust emission shows that the maximum particle size in the disk of TW Hya is >1 mm. The inner 20 au are completely optically thick at all four bands, which results in the data tracing different disk heights at different wavelengths. Coupled with the effects of dust settling, this prevents the derivation of accurate density and grain size estimates in these regions. At r > 20 au, we find evidence of the accumulation of large dust particles at the position of the bright rings, indicating that these are working as dust traps. The total dust mass in the disk is between 250 and 330 M⊕, which represents a gas-to-dust mass ratio between 50 and 70. Our mass measurement is a factor of 4.5-5.9 higher than the mass that one would estimate using the typical assumptions of large demographic surveys.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that the ring substructures in TW Hya are ideal locations to trigger the streaming instability and form new generations of planetesimals.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- April 2021
- accretion disks;
- protoplanetary disks;
- planets and satellites: formation;
- stars: pre-main sequence;
- radio continuum: general;
- techniques: interferometric;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 22 pages, 17 figures, accepted for publication in A&