Imaging the water snow-line during a protostellar outburst

dc.contributor.author Cieza, Lucas A.
dc.contributor.author Casassus, Simon
dc.contributor.author Tobin, John
dc.contributor.author Bos, Steven
dc.contributor.author Williams, Jonathan P.
dc.contributor.author Perez, Sebastian
dc.contributor.author Zhu, Zhaohuan
dc.contributor.author Caceres, Claudio
dc.contributor.author Canovas, Hector
dc.contributor.author Dunham, Michael M.
dc.contributor.author Hales, Antonio
dc.contributor.author Prieto, Jose L.
dc.contributor.author Principe, David A.
dc.contributor.author Schreiber, Matthias R.
dc.contributor.author Ruiz-Rodriguez, Dary
dc.contributor.author Zurlo, Alice
dc.date.accessioned 2017-02-17T20:28:33Z
dc.date.available 2017-02-17T20:28:33Z
dc.date.issued 2016-07-14
dc.description.abstract A snow-line is the region of a protoplanetary disk at which a major volatile, such as water or carbon monoxide, reaches its condensation temperature. Snow-lines play a crucial role in disk evolution by promoting the rapid growth of ice-covered grains^1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Signatures of the carbon monoxide snow-line (at temperatures of around 20 kelvin) have recently been imaged in the disks surrounding the pre-main-sequence stars TW Hydra^7, 8, 9 and HD163296 (refs 3, 10), at distances of about 30 astronomical units (au) from the star. But the water snow-line of a protoplanetary disk (at temperatures of more than 100 kelvin) has not hitherto been seen, as it generally lies very close to the star (less than 5 au away for solar-type stars^11). Water-ice is important because it regulates the efficiency of dust and planetesimal coagulation5, and the formation of comets, ice giants and the cores of gas giants^12. Here we report images at 0.03-arcsec resolution (12 au) of the protoplanetary disk around V883 Ori, a protostar of 1.3 solar masses that is undergoing an outburst in luminosity arising from a temporary increase in the accretion rate^13. We find an intensity break corresponding to an abrupt change in the optical depth at about 42 au, where the elevated disk temperature approaches the condensation point of water, from which we conclude that the outburst has moved the water snow-line. The spectral behaviour across the snow-line confirms recent model predictions^14: dust fragmentation and the inhibition of grain growth at higher temperatures results in soaring grain number densities and optical depths. As most planetary systems are expected to experience outbursts caused by accretion during their formation^15, 16, our results imply that highly dynamical water snow-lines must be considered when developing models of disk evolution and planet formation. en_US
dc.format.extent 15 pages en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1038/nature18612
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10125/43707
dc.language.iso en-US en_US
dc.publisher Nature en_US
dc.relation.uri http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v535/n7611/full/nature18612.html?WT.feed_name=subjects_physics en_US
dc.subject stars en_US
dc.subject interstellar medium en_US
dc.subject exoplanets en_US
dc.title Imaging the water snow-line during a protostellar outburst en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.type.dcmi Text en_US
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