Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dipper disks not inclined towards edge-on orbits

Dipper disks not inclined towards edge-on orbits


Ansdell et al


The so-called "dipper" stars host circumstellar disks and have optical and infrared light curves that exhibit quasi-periodic or aperiodic dimming events consistent with extinction by transiting dusty structures orbiting in the inner disk. Most of the proposed mechanisms explaining the dips---i.e., occulting disk warps, vortices, and forming planetesimals---assume nearly edge-on viewing geometries. However, our analysis of the three known dippers with publicly available resolved sub-mm data reveals disks with a range of inclinations, most notably the face-on transition disk J1604-2130 (EPIC 204638512). This suggests that nearly edge-on viewing geometries are not a defining characteristic of the dippers and that additional models should be explored. If confirmed by further observations of more dippers, this would point to inner disk processes that regularly produce dusty structures far above the outer disk midplane in regions relevant to planet formation.

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