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Title: HUNTING FOR PLANETS IN THE HL TAU DISK

Recent ALMA images of HL Tau show gaps in the dusty disk that may be caused by planetary bodies. Given the young age of this system, if confirmed, this finding would imply very short timescales for planet formation, probably in a gravitationally unstable disk. To test this scenario, we searched for young planets by means of direct imaging in the L′ band using the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer mid-infrared camera. At the location of two prominent dips in the dust distribution at ∼70 AU (∼0.″5) from the central star, we reach a contrast level of ∼7.5 mag. We did not detect any point sources at the location of the rings. Using evolutionary models we derive upper limits of ∼10–15 M{sub Jup} at ≤0.5–1 Ma for the possible planets. With these sensitivity limits we should have been able to detect companions sufficiently massive to open full gaps in the disk. The structures detected at millimeter wavelengths could be gaps in the distributions of large grains on the disk midplane caused by planets not massive enough to fully open the gaps. Future ALMA observations of the molecular gas density profile and kinematics as well as higher contrast infrared observations may be ablemore » to provide a definitive answer.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ; ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8]
  1. ESO, Karl Schwarzschild str. 2, D-85748 Garching bei Muenchen (Germany)
  2. Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
  3. Max Planck Institute for Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  4. INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, I-50125 Firenze (Italy)
  5. INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Monte Porzio (Italy)
  6. Universitá degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Firenze (Italy)
  7. University of Virginia, 530 McCormick Road, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States)
  8. LBT Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518746
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 812; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CAMERAS; DENSITY; IMAGES; INTERFEROMETRY; PLANETS; POINT SOURCES; PROTOPLANETS; SENSITIVITY; STAR MODELS; STARS; TELESCOPES