Indirect detection of forming protoplanets via chemical asymmetries in disks
Cleeves, L. Ilsedore
Bergin, Edwin A.
Harries, Tim J.
Institute of Physics Publishing
We examine changes in the molecular abundances resulting from increased heating due to a self-luminous planetary companion embedded within a narrow circumstellar disk gap. Using 3D models that include stellar and planetary irradiation, we find that luminous young planets locally heat up the parent circumstellar disk by many tens of Kelvin, resulting in efficient thermal desorption of molecular species that are otherwise locally frozen out. Furthermore, the heating is deposited over large regions of the disk, ±5 AU radially and spanning ≲60° azimuthally. From the 3D chemical models, we compute rotational line emission models and full Atacama Large Millimeter Array simulations, and find that the chemical signatures of the young planet are detectable as chemical asymmetries in ∼10h observations. HCN and its isotopologues are articularly clear tracers of planetary heating for the models considered here, and emission from multiple transitions of the same species is detectable, which encodes temperature information in addition to possible velocity information from the spectra itself. We find submillimeter molecular emission will be a useful tool to study gas giant planet formation in situ, especially beyond R ≳ 10 AU.
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Vol. 807 (1), article 2