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    Recent high angular resolution ALMA observations have revealed numerous gaps in protoplanetary discs. A popular interpretation has been that planets open them. Most previous investigations of planet gap-opening have concentrated on viscous discs. Here, we carry out 2D (axisymmetric) global simulations of gap opening by a planet in a wind-launching non-ideal MHD disc with consistent thermochemistry. We find a strong concentration of poloidal magnetic flux in the planet-opened gap, where the gas dynamics are magnetically dominated. The magnetic field also drives a fast (nearly sonic) meridional gas circulation in the denser disc regions near the inner and outer edges of the gap, which may be observable through high-resolution molecular line observations. The gap is more ionized than its denser surrounding regions, with a better magnetic field–matter coupling. In particular, it has a much higher abundance of molecular ion HCO+, consistent with ALMA observations of the well-studied AS 209 protoplanetary disc that has prominent gaps and fast meridional motions reaching the local sound speed. Finally, we provide fitting formulae for the ambipolar and Ohmic diffusivities as a function of the disc local density, which can be used for future 3D simulations of planet gap-opening in non-ideal MHD discs where thermochemistry is too computationally expensive to evolve self-consistently with the magneto-hydrodynamics.

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  2. Abstract

    We present MIRI Medium-resolution Spectrograph observations of the large, multi-gapped protoplanetary disk around the T Tauri star AS 209. The observations reveal hundreds of water vapor lines from 4.9–25.5μm toward the inner ∼1 au in the disk, including the first detection of rovibrational water emission in this disk. The spectrum is dominated by hot (∼800 K) water vapor and OH gas, with only marginal detections of CO2, HCN, and a possible colder water vapor component. Using slab models with a detailed treatment of opacities and line overlap, we retrieve the column density, emitting area, and excitation temperature of water vapor and OH, and provide upper limits for the observable mass of other molecules. Compared to MIRI spectra of other T Tauri disks, the inner disk of AS 209 does not appear to be atypically depleted in CO2nor HCN. Based on Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph observations, we further find evidence for molecular emission variability over a 10 yr baseline. Water, OH, and CO2line luminosities have decreased by factors of 2–4 in the new MIRI epoch, yet there are minimal continuum emission variations. The origin of this variability is yet to be understood.

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  3. Abstract

    Theoretical models and observations suggest that the abundances of molecular ions in protoplanetary disks should be highly sensitive to the variable ionization conditions set by the young central star. We present a search for temporal flux variability of HCO+J= 1–0, which was observed as a part of the Molecules with Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) at Planet-forming Scales ALMA Large Program. We split out and imaged the line and continuum data for each individual day the five sources were observed (HD 163296, AS 209, GM Aur, MWC 480, and IM Lup, with between three and six unique visits per source). Significant enhancement (>3σ) was not observed, but we find variations in the spectral profiles in all five disks. Variations in AS 209, GM Aur, and HD 163296 are tentatively attributed to variations in HCO+flux, while variations in IM Lup and MWC 480 are most likely introduced by differences in theuvcoverage, which impact the amount of recovered flux during imaging. The tentative detections and low degree of variability are consistent with expectations of X-ray flare-driven HCO+variability, which requires relatively large flares to enhance the HCO+rotational emission at significant (>20%) levels. These findings also demonstrate the need for dedicated monitoring campaigns with high signal-to-noise ratios to fully characterize X-ray flare-driven chemistry.

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  4. Abstract

    We study the kinematics of the AS 209 disk using theJ= 2–1 transitions of12CO,13CO, and C18O. We derive the radial, azimuthal, and vertical velocity of the gas, taking into account the lowered emission surface near the annular gap at ≃1.″7 (200 au) within which a candidate circumplanetary-disk-hosting planet has been reported previously. In12CO and13CO, we find a coherent upward flow arising from the gap. The upward gas flow is as fast as 150 m s−1in the regions traced by12CO emission, which corresponds to about 50% of the local sound speed or 6% of the local Keplerian speed. Such an upward gas flow is difficult to reconcile with an embedded planet alone. Instead, we propose that magnetically driven winds via ambipolar diffusion are triggered by the low gas density within the planet-carved gap, dominating the kinematics of the gap region. We estimate the ambipolar Elsässer number, Am, using the HCO+column density as a proxy for ion density and find that Am is ∼0.1 at the radial location of the upward flow. This value is broadly consistent with the value at which numerical simulations find that ambipolar diffusion drives strong winds. We hypothesize that the activation of magnetically driven winds in a planet-carved gap can control the growth of the embedded planet. We provide a scaling relationship that describes the wind-regulated terminal mass: adopting parameters relevant to 100 au from a solar-mass star, we find that the wind-regulated terminal mass is about one Jupiter mass, which may help explain the dearth of directly imaged super-Jovian-mass planets.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  5. Abstract Rings and gaps are ubiquitous in protoplanetary disks. Larger dust grains will concentrate in gaseous rings more compactly due to stronger aerodynamic drag. However, the effects of dust concentration on the ring’s thermal structure have not been explored. Using MCRT simulations, we self-consistently construct ring models by iterating the ring’s thermal structure, hydrostatic equilibrium, and dust concentration. We set up rings with two dust populations having different settling and radial concentration due to their different sizes. We find two mechanisms that can lead to temperature dips around the ring. When the disk is optically thick, the temperature drops outside the ring, which is the shadowing effect found in previous studies adopting a single-dust population in the disk. When the disk is optically thin, a second mechanism due to excess cooling of big grains is found. Big grains cool more efficiently, which leads to a moderate temperature dip within the ring where big dust resides. This dip is close to the center of the ring. Such a temperature dip within the ring can lead to particle pileup outside the ring and feedback to the dust distribution and thermal structure. We couple the MCRT calculations with a 1D dust evolution model and show that the ring evolves to a different shape and may even separate to several rings. Overall, dust concentration within rings has moderate effects on the disk’s thermal structure, and a self-consistent model is crucial not only for protoplanetary disk observations but also for planetesimal and planet formation studies. 
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  6. Abstract

    The filamentary nature of accretion streams found around embedded sources suggests that protostellar disks experience heterogenous infall from the star-forming environment, consistent with the accretion behavior onto star-forming cores in top-down star-cluster formation simulations. This may produce disk substructures in the form of rings, gaps, and spirals that continue to be identified by high-resolution imaging surveys in both embedded Class 0/I and later Class II sources. We present a parameter study of anisotropic infall, informed by the properties of accretion flows onto protostellar cores in numerical simulations, and varying the relative specific angular momentum of incoming flows as well as their flow geometry. Our results show that anisotropic infall perturbs the disk and readily launches the Rossby wave instability. It forms vortices at the inner and outer edges of the infall zone where material is deposited. These vortices drive spiral waves and angular momentum transport, with some models able to drive stresses corresponding to a viscosity parameter on the order ofα∼ 10−2. The resulting azimuthal shear forms robust pressure bumps that act as barriers to radial drift of dust grains, as demonstrated by postprocessing calculations of drift-dominated dust evolution. We discuss how a self-consistent model of anisotropic infall can account for the formation of millimeter rings in the outer disk as well as producing compact dust disks, consistent with observations of embedded sources.

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  7. Abstract

    High-spatial-resolution observations of CO isotopologue line emission in protoplanetary disks at mid-inclinations (≈30°–75°) allow us to characterize the gas structure in detail, including radial and vertical substructures, emission surface heights and their dependencies on source characteristics, and disk temperature profiles. By combining observations of a suite of CO isotopologues, we can map the two-dimensional (r,z) disk structure from the disk upper atmosphere, as traced by CO, to near the midplane, as probed by less abundant isotopologues. Here, we present high-angular-resolution (≲0.″1 to ≈0.″2; ≈15–30 au) observations of CO,13CO, and C18O in either or bothJ= 2–1 andJ= 3–2 lines in the transition disks around DM Tau, Sz 91, LkCa 15, and HD 34282. We derived line emission surfaces in CO for all disks and in13CO for the DM Tau and LkCa 15 disks. With these observations, we do not resolve the vertical structure of C18O in any disk, which is instead consistent with C18O emission originating from the midplane. Both theJ= 2–1 andJ= 3–2 lines show similar heights. Using the derived emission surfaces, we computed radial and vertical gas temperature distributions for each disk, including empirical temperature models for the DM Tau and LkCa 15 disks. After combining our sample with literature sources, we find that13CO line emitting heights are also tentatively linked with source characteristics, e.g., stellar host mass, gas temperature, disk size, and show steeper trends than seen in CO emission surfaces.

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  8. Abstract We present the complete sample of protoplanetary disks from the Gemini- Large Imaging with the Gemini Planet Imager Herbig/T Tauri Survey, which observed bright Herbig Ae/Be stars and T Tauri stars in near-infrared polarized light to search for signatures of disk evolution and ongoing planet formation. The 44 targets were chosen based on their near- and mid-infrared colors, with roughly equal numbers of transitional, pre-transitional, and full disks. Our approach explicitly did not favor well-known, “famous” disks or those observed by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, resulting in a less-biased sample suitable to probe the major stages of disk evolution during planet formation. Our optimized data reduction allowed polarized flux as low as 0.002% of the stellar light to be detected, and we report polarized scattered light around 80% of our targets. We detected point-like companions for 47% of the targets, including three brown dwarfs (two confirmed, one new), and a new super-Jupiter-mass candidate around V1295 Aql. We searched for correlations between the polarized flux and system parameters, finding a few clear trends: the presence of a companion drastically reduces the polarized flux levels, far-IR excess correlates with polarized flux for nonbinary systems, and systems hosting disks with ring structures have stellar masses <3 M ⊙ . Our sample also included four hot, dusty “FS CMa” systems, and we detected large-scale ( >100 au) scattered light around each, signs of extreme youth for these enigmatic systems. Science-ready images are publicly available through multiple distribution channels using a new FITS file standard that has been jointly developed with members of the Very Large Telescope Spectro-polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research team. 
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