The Separation and Hα Contrasts of Massive Accreting Planets in the Gaps of Transitional Disks: Predicted Hα Protoplanet Yields for Adaptive Optics Surveys
AuthorClose, Laird M.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Astron
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationLaird M. Close 2020 AJ 160 221
Rights© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
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AbstractWe present a massive accreting gap planet model that ensures large gaps in transitional disks are kept dust free by the scattering action of three coplanar quasi-circular planets in a 1:2:4 mean motion resonance (MMR). This model uses the constraint of the observed gap size, and the dust-free nature of the gap, to determine within similar to 10% the possible orbits for three massive planets in an MMR. Calculated orbits are consistent with the observed orbits and H alpha emission (the brightest line to observe these planets) for LkCa 15 b, PDS 70 b, and PDS 70 c within observational errors. Moreover, the model suggests that the scarcity of detected H alpha planets is likely a selection effect of the current limitations of non-coronagraphic, low (<10%) Strehl, H alpha imaging with adaptive optics (AO) systems used in past H alpha surveys. We predict that as higher Strehl AO systems (with high-performance custom coronagraphs; like the 6.5 m Magellan Telescope MagAO-X system) are utilized at H alpha, the number of detected gap planets will substantially increase by more than tenfold. For example, we show that >25 5 new H alpha "gap planets" are potentially discoverable by a survey of the best 19 transitional disks with MagAO-X. Detections of these accreting protoplanets will significantly improve our understanding of planet formation, planet growth and accretion, solar system architectures, and planet-disk interactions.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Aeronautics and Space Administration