Saturday, June 28, 2014

Does TW Hydrae Have a 10 to 14 Jupiter Mass in the Circumstellar Disk

Probing the presence of planets in transition discs' cavities via warps: the case of TW Hya


Facchini et al


We are entering the era in which observations of protoplanetary discs properties can indirectly probe the presence of massive planets or low mass stellar companions interacting with the disc. In particular, the detection of warped discs can provide important clues to the properties of the star-disc system. In this paper we show how observations of warped discs can be used to infer the dynamical properties of the systems. We concentrate on circumbinary discs, where the mass of the secondary can be planetary. First, we provide some simple relations that link the amplitude of the warp in the linear regime to the parameters of the system. Secondly, we apply our method to the case of TW Hya, a transition disc for which a warp has been proposed based on spectroscopic observations. Assuming values for the disc and stellar parameters from observations, we conclude that, in order for a warp induced by a planetary companion to be detectable, the planet mass should be large (Mp≈10−14MJ) and the disc should be viscous (α≈0.15−0.25). We also apply our model to LkCa 15 and T Cha, where a substellar companion has been detected within the central cavity of the transition discs.

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