EDP Sciences

Vol. 604
In section 6. Interstellar and circumstellar

Observability of characteristic binary-induced structures in circumbinary disks

by R. Avramenko, S. Wolf, and T.F. Illenseer A&A 604, A38


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A substantial fraction of protoplanetary disks form around stellar binaries. The properties of these circumbinary disks are currently a topic of very active research. In this paper, the authors study the strong tidal forces that act on the circumbinary disk as a consequence of the non-axisymmetric gravitational potential generated by the binary system. They aim to identify structures characteristic of the binarity and to evaluate the feasibility of observing them with current and future instruments. To do this, they perform 2D hydrodynamic simulations and post-process the resulting density distributions with a 3D radiative transfer code to generate re-emission and scattered light maps. They find that both ALMA and the E-ELT are capable of tracing asymmetries in the inner region of circumbinary disks, which are affected most by the binary-disk interaction. With the E-ELT one can partially resolve the innermost parts of the disk in the infrared wavelength range, including the disk’s rim, accretion arms, and potentially the expected circumstellar disks around each of the binary components.