Context. Observations of edge-on disks are an important tool for constraining general protoplanetary disk properties that cannot be determined in any other way. However, most radiative transfer models cannot simultaneously reproduce the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and resolved scattered light and submillimeter observations of these systems because the geometry and dust properties are different at different wavelengths.
Aims: We simultaneously constrain the geometry of the edge-on protoplanetary disk HH 48 NE and the characteristics of the host star. HH 48 NE is part of the JWST early-release science program Ice Age. This work serves as a stepping stone toward a better understanding of the physical structure of the disk and of the icy chemistry in this particular source. This type of modeling lays the groundwork for studying other edge-on sources that are to be observed with the JWST.
Methods: We fit a parameterized dust model to HH 48 NE by coupling the radiative transfer code RADMC-3D and a Markov chain Monte Carlo framework. The dust structure was fit independently to a compiled SED, a scattered light image at 0.8 µm, and an ALMA dust continuum observation at 890 µm.
Results: We find that 90% of the dust mass in HH 48 NE is settled to the disk midplane. This is less than in average disks. The atmospheric layers of the disk also exclusively contain large grains (0.3-10 µm). The exclusion of small grains in the upper atmosphere likely has important consequences for the chemistry because high-energy photons can penetrate very deeply. The addition of a relatively large cavity (~50 au in radius) is necessary to explain the strong mid-infrared emission and to fit the scattered light and continuum observations simultaneously.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- September 2023
- protoplanetary disks;
- radiative transfer;
- planets and satellites: formation;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 16 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy &