Saturday, July 11, 2015

Circumstellar Disk Around IRAS 04125+2902

The Transitional Disk around IRAS 04125+2902


Espaillat et al


Resolved submillimeter imaging of transitional disks is increasingly revealing the complexity of disk structure. Here we present the first high-resolution submillimeter image of a recently identified transitional disk around IRAS 04125+2902 in the Taurus star-forming region. We measure an inner disk hole of ~20 AU around IRAS 04125+2902 by simultaneously modeling new 880 micron Submillimeter Array (SMA) data along with an existing spectral energy distribution supplemented by new Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) photometry. We also constrain the outer radius of the dust disk in IRAS~04125+2902 to ~50-60 AU. Such a small dust disk could be attributed to initial formation conditions, outward truncation by an unseen companion, or dust evolution in the disk. Notably, the dust distribution of IRAS 04125+2902 resembles a narrow ring (delta R ~ 35 AU) composed of large dust grains at the location of the disk wall. Such narrow dust rings are also seen in other transitional disks and may be evidence of dust trapping in pressure bumps, possibly produced by planetary companions. More sensitive submillimeter observations of the gas are necessary to further probe the physical mechanisms at work in shaping the spatial distribution of large dust in this disk. Interestingly, the IRAS 04125+2902 disk is significantly fainter than other transitional disks that have been resolved at submillimeter wavelengths, hinting that more objects with large disk holes may exist at the faint end of the submillimeter luminosity distribution that await detection with more sensitive imaging telescopes.

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