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Title: Are inner disc misalignments common? ALMA reveals an isotropic outer disc inclination distribution for young dipper stars
ABSTRACT Dippers are a common class of young variable star exhibiting day-long dimmings with depths of up to several tens of per cent. A standard explanation is that dippers host nearly edge-on (id ≈ 70°) protoplanetary discs that allow close-in (<1 au) dust lifted slightly out of the mid-plane to partially occult the star. The identification of a face-on dipper disc and growing evidence of inner disc misalignments brings this scenario into question. Thus, we uniformly (re)derive the inclinations of 24 dipper discs resolved with (sub-)mm interferometry from ALMA. We find that dipper disc inclinations are consistent with an isotropic distribution over id ≈ 0−75°, above which the occurrence rate declines (likely an observational selection effect due to optically thick disc mid-planes blocking their host stars). These findings indicate that the dipper phenomenon is unrelated to the outer (>10 au) disc resolved by ALMA and that inner disc misalignments may be common during the protoplanetary phase. More than one mechanism may contribute to the dipper phenomenon, including accretion-driven warps and ‘broken’ discs caused by inclined (sub-)stellar or planetary companions.
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
572 to 588
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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