Long Term Evolution of Planet-Induced Vortices in Protoplanetary Disks

Recent observations of large-scale asymmetric features in protoplanetary disks suggest that large-scale vortices exist in such disks. Massive planets are known to be able to produce deep gaps in protoplanetary disks. The gap edges could become hydrodynamically unstable to the Rossby wave/vortex instability and form large-scale vortices. In this study we examine the long term evolution of these vortices by carrying out high-resolution two dimensional hydrodynamic simulations that last more than $10^4$ orbits (measured at the planet's orbit). We find that the disk viscosity has a strong influence on both the emergence and lifetime of vortices. In the outer disk region where asymmetric features are observed, our simulation results suggest that the disk viscous $\alpha$ needs to be low $\sim 10^{-5 }$ - $10^{-4}$ to sustain vortices to thousands and up to $10^{4}$ orbits in certain cases. The chance of finding a vortex feature in a disk then decreases with smaller planet orbital radius. For $\alpha \sim 10^{-3}$ or larger, even planets with masses of 5 Jupiter-masses will have difficulty either producing or sustaining vortices. We have also studied the effects of different disk temperatures and planet masses. We discuss the implications of our findings on current and future protoplanetary disk observations.

Comments: 5 pages, 5 figures; accepted for publication in ApJ Letter

Similar Publications

We present an analysis of new and published data on P/2013 R3, the first asteroid detected while disintegrating. Thirteen discrete components are measured in the interval between UT 2013 October 01 and 2014 February 13. We determine a mean, pair-wise velocity dispersion amongst these components of $\Delta v = 0. Read More


The Ursid meteor shower is an annual shower that usually shows little activity. However, its Zenith Hourly Rate sometimes increases, usually either when its parent comet, 8P/Tuttle, is close to its perihelion or its aphelion. Outbursts when the comet is away from perihelion are not common and outburst when the comet is close to aphelion are extremely rare. Read More


HD 189733 b is one of the most well-studied exoplanets due to its large transit depth and host star brightness. The focus on this object has produced a number of high-cadence transit observations using high-resolution optical spectrographs. Here we present an analysis of seven full H$\alpha$ transits of HD 189733 b using HARPS on the 3. Read More


Batygin and Brown (2016) have suggested the existence of a new Solar System planet supposed to be responsible for the perturbation of eccentric orbits of small outer bodies. The main challenge is now to detect and characterize this putative body. Here we investigate the principles of the determination of its physical parameters, mainly its mass and radius. Read More


We investigate the role of secular and mean motion resonances on the water transport from a belt of icy asteroids onto planets or embryos orbiting inside the circumprimary habitable zone (HZ) of a binary star system. The host-star has in addition an accompanying gas giant planet. For a comparison, we perform two case-studies where a secular resonance is located either inside the HZ close to 1. Read More


The presence of dusty debris around main sequence stars denotes the existence of planetary systems. Such debris disks are often identified by the presence of excess continuum emission at infrared and (sub-)millimetre wavelengths, with measurements at longer wavelengths tracing larger and cooler dust grains. The exponent of the slope of the disk emission at sub-millimetre wavelengths, `q', defines the size distribution of dust grains in the disk. Read More


Debris discs are the dusty aftermath of planet formation processes around main-sequence stars. Analysis of these discs is often hampered by the absence of any meaningful constraint on the location and spatial extent of the disc around its host star. Multi-wavelength, resolved imaging ameliorates the degeneracies inherent in the modelling process, making such data indispensable in the interpretation of these systems. Read More


We have measured a precise optical transmission spectrum for WASP-52b, a highly inflated hot Jupiter with an equilibrium temperature of 1300 K. Two transits of the planet were observed spectroscopically at low resolution with the auxiliary-port camera (ACAM) on the William Herschel Telescope (WHT), covering a wide range of 4000-8750 \AA. We use a Gaussian process approach to model the correlated noise in the multi-wavelength light curves, resulting in a high precision relative transmission spectrum with errors on the order of a pressure scale height. Read More


We present an outline of basic assumptions and governing structural equations describing atmospheres of substellar mass objects, in particular the extrasolar giant planets and brown dwarfs. Although most of the presentation of the physical and numerical background is generic, details of the implementation pertain mostly to the code CoolTlusty. We also present a review of numerical approaches and computer codes devised to solve the structural equations, and make a critical evaluation of their efficiency and accuracy. Read More


Many protostellar gapped and binary discs show misalignments between their inner and outer discs; in some cases, $\sim70$ degree misalignments have been observed. Here we show that these misalignments can be generated through a "secular precession resonance" between the nodal precession of the inner disc and the precession of the gap-opening (stellar or massive planetary) companion. An evolving protostellar system may naturally cross this resonance during its lifetime due to disc dissipation and/or companion migration. Read More