ISELLA A., PEREZ L.M., CARPENTER J.M., RICCI L., ANDREWS S. and ROSENFELD K.
Abstract (from CDS):
Theory predicts that giant planets and low mass stellar companions shape circumstellar disks by opening annular gaps in the gas and dust spatial distribution. For more than a decade it has been debated whether this is the dominant process that leads to the formation of transitional disks. In this paper, we present millimeter-wave interferometric observations of the transitional disk around the young intermediate mass star LkHα 330. These observations reveal a lopsided ring in the 1.3 mm dust thermal emission characterized by a radius of about 100 AU and an azimuthal intensity variation of a factor of two. By comparing the observations with a Gaussian parametric model, we find that the observed asymmetry is consistent with a circular arc, that extends azimuthally by about 90° and emits about 1/3 of the total continuum flux at 1.3 mm. Hydrodynamic simulations show that this structure is similar to the azimuthal asymmetries in the disk surface density that might be produced by the dynamical interaction with unseen low mass companions orbiting within 70 AU from the central star. We argue that such asymmetries might lead to azimuthal variations in the millimeter-wave dust opacity and in the dust temperature, which will also affect the millimeter-wave continuum emission. Alternative explanations for the observed asymmetry that do not require the presence of companions cannot be ruled out with the existing data. Further observations of both the dust and molecular gas emission are required to derive firm conclusions on the origin of the asymmetry observed in the LkHα 330 disk.