Sunday, August 21, 2016

An Origin of Multiple Ring Structure and Hidden Planets in HL Tauri

An Origin of Multiple Ring Structure and Hidden Planets in HL Tau: A Unified Picture by Secular Gravitational Instability


Takahashi et al


Recent ALMA observation has revealed multiple ring structures formed in a protoplanetary disk around HL Tau. Prior to the ALMA observation of HL Tau, theoretical analysis of secular gravitational instability (GI) described a possible formation of multiple ring structures with separations of 13 AU around a radius of 100 AU in protoplanetary disks under certain conditions. In this article, we reanalyze the viability of secular GI by adopting the physical values inferred from the observations. We derive the radial distributions of the most unstable wavelength and the growth timescale of secular GI and verify that secular GI can form the ring structures observed in HL Tau. When a turbulent viscosity coefficient α remains to be small in inner region of the disk, secular GI grows in the whole disk. Thus, the formation of planetary mass objects should occur first in the inner region as a result of gravitational fragmentation after the non-linear growth of secular GI. In this case, resulting objects are expected to create the gaps at r ~ 10 AU and ~ 30 AU. As a result, all ring structures in HL Tau can be created by secular GI. If this scenario is realized in HL Tau, outer region corresponds to the earlier growth phase of the most unstable mode of secular GI, and the inner region corresponds to the outcome of the non-linear growth of secular GI. Therefore, this interpretation suggests that we are possibly witnessing both the beginning and end of planet formation in HL Tau.

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