THE INNER STRUCTURE OF THE TW HYA DISK AS REVEALED IN SCATTERED LIGHT

John H. Debes, Hannah Jang-Condell, Glenn Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

We observe a significant change in the TW Hya disk interior to 40 au via archival unpolarized multi-wavelength Hubble Space Telescope/STIS and NICMOS images with an inner working angle of 0″.4 (22 au). Our images show the outer edge of a clearing at every wavelength with similar behavior, demonstrating that the feature is structural, rather than due to some property of polarized light in the disk. We compare our observations to those taken by Akiyama et al. and Rapson et al., and discuss the spectral evolution of the disk interior to 80 au. We construct a model with two gaps: one at 30 au and one at 80 au that fit the observed surface brightness profile but overpredicts the absolute brightness of the disk. Our models require an additional dimming to be consistent with observations, which we tentatively ascribe to shadowing. The gap structures seen in scattered light are spatially coincident with sub-millimeter detections of CO and N2H+, and are near expected condensation fronts of these molecular species, providing tentative evidence that the structures seen in scattered light may be correlated with chemical changes in the disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL1
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume819
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • planet-disk interactions
  • planets and satellites: formation
  • protoplanetary disks
  • stars: individual (TW Hya)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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