Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How big are Gas Giants Creating Gaps in Protoplanetary Disks

Mass constraint for a planet in a protoplanetary disk from the gap width


Kanagawa et al


A giant planet creates a gap in a protoplanetary disk, which might explain the observed gaps in protoplanetary disks. The width and depth of the gaps depend on the planet mass and disk properties. We have performed two--dimensional hydrodynamic simulations for various planet masses, disk aspect ratios and viscosities, to obtain an empirical formula for the gap width. The gap width is proportional to the square root of the planet mass, -3/4 power of the disk aspect ratio and -1/4 power of the viscosity. This empirical formula enables us to estimate the mass of a planet embedded in the disk from the width of an observed gap. We have applied the empirical formula for the gap width to the disk around HL~Tau, assuming that each gap observed by ALMA observations is produced by planets, and discussed the planet masses within the gaps. The estimate of planet masses from the gap widths is less affected by the observational resolution and dust filtration than that from the gap depth.

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