Institute of Astronomy

X-ray photoevaporation and planet formation interplay in the dispersal of protoplanetary discs

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Giovanni Rosotti28 July 2014Across HR 2014 Posters


Planet formation is a race between the processes aggregating the material in the proto-planetary disc and the ones removing it, dispersing the disc. The so-called transition discs show evidence for an inner hole and are interpreted as discs caught in the final act of dispersal. Photo-evaporation and planet formation itself have been proposed as mechanisms responsible for their creation. However, both scenarios have problems in explaining the measured hole sizes and mass accretion rates. I have studied the combined effect of the two processes, finding that it can significantly alter the picture. In particular, I find that the formation of a giant planet can trigger the creation of a short-lived transitional disc and its final dispersal by photo-evaporation. I will show results from a suite of 2d simulations of protoplanetary discs undergoing X-ray photoevaporation with an embedded giant planet. I have expanded the parameter space investigated by the previous simulations with the goal of making comparisons with observations (e.g., more massive discs). In addition, while before the simulations were run only up to hole opening, the updated model includes thermal sweeping, needed for studying the complete dispersal of the disc. The suite of simulations allows me to construct statistical predictions about the transitional disc population, that can be compared against the upcoming ALMA observations.