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  1. 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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  2. 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
  3. Abstract

    Deuterium fractionation provides a window into the thermal history of volatiles in the solar system and protoplanetary disks. While evidence of active molecular deuteration has been observed toward a handful of disks, it remains unclear whether this chemistry affects the composition of forming planetesimals due to limited observational constraints on the radial and vertical distribution of deuterated molecules. To shed light on this question, we introduce new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations of DCO+and DCNJ= 2–1 at an angular resolution of 0.″5 (30 au) and combine them with archival data of higher energy transitions toward the protoplanetary disk around TW Hya. We carry out a radial excitation analysis assuming both LTE and non-LTE to localize the physical conditions traced by DCO+and DCN emission in the disk, thus assessing deuterium fractionation efficiencies and pathways at different disk locations. We find similar disk-averaged column densities of 1.9 × 1012and 9.8 × 1011cm−2for DCO+and DCN, with typical kinetic temperatures for both molecules of 20–30 K, indicating a common origin near the comet- and planet-forming midplane. The observed DCO+/DCN abundance ratio, combined with recent modeling results, provide tentative evidence of a gas-phase C/O enhancement within <40 au. Observations of DCO+and DCN in other disks, as well as HCN and HCO+, will be necessary to place the trends exhibited by TW Hya in context, and fully constrain the main deuteration mechanisms in disks.

     
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  4. 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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  5. Abstract High spatial resolution CO observations of midinclination (≈30°–75°) protoplanetary disks offer an opportunity to study the vertical distribution of CO emission and temperature. The asymmetry of line emission relative to the disk major axis allows for a direct mapping of the emission height above the midplane, and for optically thick, spatially resolved emission in LTE, the intensity is a measure of the local gas temperature. Our analysis of Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array archival data yields CO emission surfaces, dynamically constrained stellar host masses, and disk atmosphere gas temperatures for the disks around the following: HD 142666, MY Lup, V4046 Sgr, HD 100546, GW Lup, WaOph 6, DoAr 25, Sz 91, CI Tau, and DM Tau. These sources span a wide range in stellar masses (0.50–2.10 M ⊙ ), ages (∼0.3–23 Myr), and CO gas radial emission extents (≈200–1000 au). This sample nearly triples the number of disks with mapped emission surfaces and confirms the wide diversity in line emitting heights ( z / r ≈ 0.1 to ≳0.5) hinted at in previous studies. We compute the radial and vertical CO gas temperature distributions for each disk. A few disks show local temperature dips or enhancements, some of which correspond to dust substructures or the proposed locations of embedded planets. Several emission surfaces also show vertical substructures, which all align with rings and gaps in the millimeter dust. Combining our sample with literature sources, we find that CO line emitting heights weakly decline with stellar mass and gas temperature, which, despite large scatter, is consistent with simple scaling relations. We also observe a correlation between CO emission height and disk size, which is due to the flared structure of disks. Overall, CO emission surfaces trace ≈2–5× gas pressure scale heights (H g ) and could potentially be calibrated as empirical tracers of H g . 
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  6. Abstract

    We present 870μm Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array polarization observations of thermal dust emission from the iconic, edge-on debris diskβPic. While the spatially resolved map does not exhibit detectable polarized dust emission, we detect polarization at the ∼3σlevel when averaging the emission across the entire disk. The corresponding polarization fraction isPfrac= 0.51% ± 0.19%. The polarization position angleχis aligned with the minor axis of the disk, as expected from models of dust grains aligned via radiative alignment torques (RAT) with respect to a toroidal magnetic field (B-RAT) or with respect to the anisotropy in the radiation field (k-RAT). When averaging the polarized emission across the outer versus inner thirds of the disk, we find that the polarization arises primarily from the SW third. We perform synthetic observations assuming grain alignment via bothk-RAT andB-RAT. Both models produce polarization fractions close to our observed value when the emission is averaged across the entire disk. When we average the models in the inner versus outer thirds of the disk, we find thatk-RAT is the likely mechanism producing the polarized emission inβPic. A comparison of timescales relevant to grain alignment also yields the same conclusion. For dust grains with realistic aspect ratios (i.e.,s> 1.1), our models imply low grain-alignment efficiencies.

     
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