A spatially resolved inner hole in the disk around GM Aurigae.
HUGHES A.M., ANDREWS S.M., ESPAILLAT C., WILNER D.J., CALVET N., D'ALESSIO P., QI C., WILLIAMS J.P. and HOGERHEIJDE M.R.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present 0".3 resolution observations of the disk around GM Aurigae with the Submillimeter Array (SMA) at a wavelength of 860 µm and with the Plateau de Bure Interferometer at a wavelength of 1.3 mm. These observations probe the distribution of disk material on spatial scales commensurate with the size of the inner hole predicted by models of the spectral energy distribution (SED). The data clearly indicate a sharp decrease in millimeter optical depth at the disk center, consistent with a deficit of material at distances less than ∼20 AU from the star. We refine the accretion disk model of Calvet et al. based on the unresolved SED and demonstrate that it reproduces well the spatially resolved millimeter continuum data at both available wavelengths. We also present complementary SMA observations of CO J = 3-2 and J = 2-1 emission from the disk at 2'' resolution. The observed CO morphology is consistent with the continuum model prediction, with two significant deviations: (1) the emission displays a larger CO J = 3-2/J = 2-1 line ratio than predicted, which may indicate additional heating of gas in the upper disk layers; and (2) the position angle of the kinematic rotation pattern differs by 11° ± 2° from that measured at smaller scales from the dust continuum, which may indicate the presence of a warp. We note that photoevaporation, grain growth, and binarity are unlikely mechanisms for inducing the observed sharp decrease in opacity or surface density at the disk center. The inner hole plausibly results from the dynamical influence of a planet on the disk material. Warping induced by a planet could also potentially explain the difference in position angle between the continuum and CO data sets.