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Shadowing in the Protoplanetary Disk around a Very Low Mass Star

Presentation #621.10 in the session Protoplanetary Disks - Observations.

Published onApr 03, 2024
Shadowing in the Protoplanetary Disk around a Very Low Mass Star

We present a new instance of shadowing on the outer protoplanetary disk around a very low mass star, ZZ Tau IRS. Through the analysis of near-infrared (NIR) archival data at λ = 1.6μm acquired with the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope, we identified brightness asymmetries in the top and bottom halves of the highly inclined outer disk, separated by a dark lane. The brighter sides in the top and bottom halves are on the opposite sides, which we attributed to shadows cast by a misaligned inner disk. Radiative transfer modeling of the system with a misaligned angle of 15 degrees between the inner and outer disks well reproduced the observations. Additionally, we found an elevated brightness temperature of 12CO (3-2) at r∼30 au on the brighter side in NIR wavelengths in the top half disk, which can be explained by the shadowing effect too. While the origin of the misaligned inner disk remains unclear, future monitoring observations to search for temporal variations in brightness asymmetries will likely provide useful clues.

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