Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 525A, 12-12 (2011/1-1)
New constraints on dust grain size and distribution in CQ Tauri.
BANZATTI A., TESTI L., ISELLA A., NATTA A., NERI R. and WILNER D.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
Grain growth in circumstellar disks is expected to be the first step towards the formation of planetary systems. There is now evidence for grain growth in several disks around young stars. Radially resolved images of grain growth in circumstellar disks are believed to be a powerful tool to constrain the dust evolution models and the initial stage for the formation of planets. In this paper we attempt to provide these constraints for the disk surrounding the young star CQ Tau. This system was already suggested from previous studies to host a population of grains grown to large sizes. We present new high angular resolution (0.3"-0.9") observations at wavelengths from 850µm to 3.6cm obtained at the SMA, IRAM-PdBI and NRAO-VLA interferometers. We perform a combined analysis of the spectral energy distribution and of the high-resolution images at different wavelengths using a model to describe the dust thermal emission from the circumstellar disk. We include a prescription for the gas emission from the inner regions of the system. We detect the presence of evolved dust by constraining the disk averaged dust opacity coefficient β (computed between 1.3 and 7mm) to be 0.6±0.1. This confirms the earlier suggestions that the disk contains dust grains grown to significant sizes and puts this on firmer grounds by tightly constraining the gas contamination to the observed fluxes at mm-cm wavelengths. We report some evidence of radial variations in dust properties, but current resolution and sensitivity are still too low for definitive results.