Gravitational instabilities in a protosolar-like disc - I. Dynamics and chemistry
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To date, most simulations of the chemistry in protoplanetary discs have used 1 + 1D or 2D axisymmetric α-disc models to determine chemical compositions within young systems. This assumption is inappropriate for non-axisymmetric, gravitationally unstable discs, which may be a significant stage in early protoplanetary disc evolution. Using 3D radiative hydrodynamics, we have modelled the physical and chemical evolution of a 0.17 M⊙ self-gravitating disc over a period of 2000 yr. The 0.8 M⊙ central protostar is likely to evolve into a solar-like star, and hence this Class 0 or early Class I young stellar object may be analogous to our early Solar system. Shocks driven by gravitational instabilities enhance the desorption rates, which dominate the changes in gas-phase fractional abundances for most species. We find that at the end of the simulation, a number of species distinctly trace the spiral structure of our relatively low-mass disc, particularly CN. We compare our simulation to that of a more massive disc, and conclude that mass differences between gravitationally unstable discs may not have a strong impact on the chemical composition. We find that over the duration of our simulation, successive shock heating has a permanent effect on the abundances of HNO, CN and NH3, which may have significant implications for both simulations and observations. We also find that HCO+ may be a useful tracer of disc mass. We conclude that gravitational instabilities induced in lower mass discs can significantly, and permanently, affect the chemical evolution, and that observations with high-resolution instruments such as Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) offer a promising means of characterizing gravitational instabilities in protosolar discs.
Evans , M G , Ilee , J D , Boley , A C , Caselli , P , Durisen , R H , Hartquist , T W & Rawlings , J M C 2015 , ' Gravitational instabilities in a protosolar-like disc - I. Dynamics and chemistry ' Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol 453 , no. 2 , pp. 1147-1163 . DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1698
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. © 2015 The Authors, Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
MGE gratefully acknowledges a studentship from the European Research Council (ERC; project PALs 320620). JDI gratefully acknowledges funding from the European Union FP7-2011 under grant agreement no. 284405. ACB's contribution was supported, in part, by The University of British Columbia and the Canada Research Chairs program. PC and TWH acknowledge the financial support of the European Research Council (ERC; project PALs 320620).