An Upper Limit on the Mass of the Circumplanetary Disk for DH Tau b

Schuyler G. Wolff, François Ménard, Claudio Caceres, Charlene Lefèvre, Mickael Bonnefoy, Héctor Cánovas, Sébastien Maret, Christophe Pinte, Matthias R. Schreiber, Gerrit Van Der Plas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


DH Tau is a young (sim;1 Myr) classical T Tauri star. It is one of the few young PMS stars known to be associated with a planetary mass companion, DH Tau b, orbiting at large separation and detected by direct imaging. DH Tau b is thought to be accreting based on copious Ha emission and exhibits variable Paschen Beta emission. NOEMA observations at 230 GHz allow us to place constraints on the disk dust mass for both DH Tau b and the primary in a regime where the disks will appear optically thin. We estimate a disk dust mass for the primary, DH Tau A of 17.2 ± 1.7 MÅ, which gives a disk to star mass ratio of 0.014 (assuming the usual gas to dust mass ratio of 100 in the disk). We find a conservative disk dust mass upper limit of 0.42M for DH Tau b, assuming that the disk temperature is dominated by irradiation from DH Tau b itself. Given the environment of the circumplanetary disk, variable illumination from the primary or the equilibrium temperature of the surrounding cloud would lead to even lower disk mass estimates. A MCFOST radiative transfer model, including heating of the circumplanetary disk by DH Tau b and DH Tau A, suggests that a mass-averaged disk temperature of 22 K is more realistic, resulting in a dust disk mass upper limit of 0.09M for DH Tau b. We place DH Tau b in context with similar objects and discuss the consequences for planet formation models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • circumstellar matter
  • planetary systems
  • stars: individual (DH Tau)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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