Astrophys. J., 896, 169-169 (2020/June-3)
Variability of the great disk shadow in Serpens.
PONTOPPIDAN K.M., GREEN J.D., PAULY T.A., SALYK C. and DEPASQUALE J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present dual-epoch Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the great disk shadow in the Serpens star-forming region. The near-infrared images show strong variability of the disk shadow, revealing dynamics of the inner disk on timescales of months. The Great Shadow is projected onto the Serpens reflection nebula by an unresolved protoplanetary disk surrounding the young intermediate-mass star SVS2/CK3/EC82. Since the shadow extends out to a distance of at least 17,000 au, corresponding to a light-travel time of 0.24 yr, the images may reveal detailed changes in the disk scale height and position angle on timescales as short as a day, corresponding to the angular resolution of the images, and up to the 1.11 yr span between two observing epochs. We present a basic retrieval of temporal changes in the disk density structure, based on the images. We find that the inner disk changes position angle on timescales of months, and that the change is not axisymmetric, suggesting the presence of a non-axisymmetric dynamical forcing on ∼1 au size scales. We consider two different scenarios, one in which a quadrupolar disk warp orbits the central star, and one in which an unequal-mass binary orbiting out of the disk plane displaces the photocenter relative to the shadowing disk. Continued space-based monitoring of the great disk shadow is required to distinguish between these scenarios, and could provide unique and detailed insight into the dynamics of inner protoplanetary disks not available through other means.
© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Protoplanetary disks - Reverberation mapping - Exoplanet formation
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