Is the spiral morphology of the Elias 2-27 circumstellar disc due to gravitational instability?
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A recent Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observation of the Elias 2-27 system revealed a two-armed structure extending out to ~300 au in radius. The protostellar disc surrounding the central star is unusually massive, raising the possibility that the system is gravitationally unstable. Recent work has shown that the observed morphology of the system can be explained by disc self-gravity, so we examine the physical properties of the disc necessary to detect self-gravitating spiral waves. Using three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics, coupled with radiative transfer and synthetic ALMA imaging, we find that observable spiral structure can only be explained by self-gravity if the disc has a low opacity (and therefore efficient cooling), and is minimally supported by external irradiation. This corresponds to a very narrow region of parameter space, suggesting that, although it is possible for the spiral structure to be due to disc self-gravity, other explanations, such as an external perturbation, may be preferred.
Hall , C , Rice , K , Dipierro , G , Forgan , D , Harries , T & Alexander , R 2018 , ' Is the spiral morphology of the Elias 2-27 circumstellar disc due to gravitational instability? ' , Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol. 477 , no. 1 , pp. 1004-1014 . https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sty550
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
© 2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sty550
DescriptionKR gratefully acknowledges support from STFC grant ST/M001229/1. DF gratefully acknowledges support from the ECOGAL project, grant agreement 291227, funded by the European Research Council under ERC-2011-ADG. The research leading to these results also received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement number 313014 (ETAEARTH). This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 681601).
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