Dust particles and their spectra. Summary

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Dust particles and their spectra. Summary.
Here are the articles and reviews I read in preparation of the final report.

  • Review at


structures thanks to VLT/NACO adaptive optics"

D.Rouan et al. 3 Dec 2003 (arxiv)

  • Astron. Astrophys. 327, 743{754 (1997)

“Low-temperature infrared properties of cosmic dust analogues”

Th. Henning and H. Mutschke

  • "Detection of carbonites in dust shells around evolved stars"

F.Kemper et al.

NATURE, vol 415, 17 January 2002.

  • "A multi-wavelength scattered light analysis of the dust grain

population in the GGTau circumbinary ring"

G. Duchˆene, C. McCabe, A. M. Ghez,B. A. Macintosh


  • "Interaction of Nanoparticles with Radiation"

Aigen Li

arXiv:astro-ph/0311066 v1 4 Nov 2003

Aside from the review of dust particles and their optical properties, the system I spoke about is GG Tau circumbinary disk with a binary system in the center. The disk was first discovered with millimeter interferometry through its thermal emission. The masses of the binary star components are estimated to be 0.4 and 0.6 solar masses. The separation of the binary components is about 35 au. Inner radius is 180 au, outer is 260 au. The mass of the dust torus is estimated to be 0.13 solar masses and its average temperature is 35K.
Since the discovery, the ring has been spatially resolved in scattered light at various wavelengths ranging from 0.6 to 2 µm. Models of the scattered light images of the ring have both concluded for and against grain growth in the disk mostly because of their limited wavelength coverage. The new 3.8 µm image of the GGTau torus clearly shows that the deeper parts of the disk contain larger grains than the surface layers, and that they are even larger than those found in the ISM or in molecular clouds.
The data were obtained with the W. M. Keck II 10m telescope on 2002 December 12 & 13, using the facility NIRC2 instrument installed behind the adaptive optics (AO) system.

Over the two nights, 32 cycles were integrated on target, i.e. 128 independent images amounting to 6950 s of integration (1h56min) were made. The images were processed according to the standard techniques used in astronomy. The measured flux ratio of the binary (DeltaL = 0.59 ± 0.03mag) and is not consistent with previously reported values due to variability of the system.

The processed image of the GG Tau system reveals a continuous ring around the two stars with its brightest part located at a position angle of ≈25°. The ring is detected at most azimuths above the 2σ detection limit per resolution element, except for the sector

at position angles 140–180°, and up to ≈10σ at peak brightness.

To quantify the morphology and photometric properties of the ring, its

structure was first fitted with an ellipse. The same approach was used as in previous research. For each 10° sector in position angle, the radial profile of the ring was computed, taking the center of mass of the binary as reference. A 4th-order polynomial function was then fitted to a 0.5sec portion of this profile and the location of the peak (defined as the midpoint between the inner and outer half-peak radii) and its intensity were extracted from this. The polynomial fit failed for the sectors at position angles approx100° and 140–200° due to the faintness of the ring in those areas. Uncertainties in the peak position for each azimuthal profile are defined as the standard deviation of the peak positions measured in four sub-maps of the data. An ellipse was then fitted to the location of the peaks at all available position angles with a χ2 minimization routine. The best fitting model has a semi-major axis of 1.48±0.02sec, an eccentricity of 0.65±0.01 and a position angle of the minor axis of 13°±5°. The geometrical center of the best fitting ellipse is located 0.16±0.04sec due South from the center of mass of the binary.

The radiation from the object is thermal and has no specific transition diagram. The main process that may be involved is the absorption of a single UV photon by a single grain leading to extreme heating of the particle up to 1000K. This happens due to small size of the grains and leads to thermal emission at the wavelengths of several microns. The obtained images of the disk in this research are in scattered light of 3.8μm range.
For the analysis, a number of numerical simulations were conducted that calculate

the multiple scattering of photons emitted from the central stars off the ring. The

same Monte Carlo code was used as in previous research. The generic trends revealed

by these models are summarized as a function of wavelength and dust grain size and a range of models that reasonably reproduce each available image of the GGTau disk is identified.

The numerical model randomly propagates light packets (“photons”) in all directions from the central object, which are treated for simplicity as a single star having the integrated stellar light properties. The circumstellar material density is tabulated in a cylindrical coordinate system and it is assumed that the system is azimuthally

symmetric. Photons that reach the ring are scattered after a random optical depth taken

from an exponential probability distribution. The size of the dust grain that the photon scatters off is randomly selected in the scattering cross section-weighted size distribution, and the associated Stokes transfer matrix is calculated through Mie theory. The grains are assumed to be spherical or, if elongated, randomly oriented so that their average cross-section is isotropic. At each scattering event, photons lose a fraction (on the order of the dust albedo) of their incoming intensity and photons that have experienced more than 30 scatterings are terminated as they carry a negligible intensity. 4 million photons per simulation are run and the synthetic intensity maps are created by collecting all photons that leave the ring with an inclination from the line of sight in the range 32–37°, similar to the system’s inclination (37°). The size of the output images is about 4.3 sec

on a side, sampled at 0.042sec/pixel. To focus the analysis on the dust grain properties, the same ring geometry was adopted for all models. The relevant model parameters for disk geometry here are: the inner and outer radii (180AU and 260AU), the total dust mass (0.13Msolar),the vertical scale height (32AU at the inner edge). Under the assumptions of vertical hydrostatic equilibrium and isothermality, the density distribution of dust surrounding the binary in a 300AU-radius cylinder was tabulated. The presence of the outer disk seen in CO emission is neglected as the ring itself is optically thick at all wavelengths considered here, so that virtually no photons scatter off the outer disk. The density distribution is assumed to extend inside of the ring inner radius with a gaussian function attenuation factor described by a 1/e width of 7AU. The amount of material located inside of 180AU therefore represents a small fraction (5%) of the total disk mass.

The composite, porous dust grain properties were assumed resulting in a 0.5 g/cm3 average grain density. The numerical models are monochromatic with the central wavelength of the filters (0.8, 1.0, 1.6 and 3.8 µm respectively for the I, J, H and L′ filter) used to match the various observations of the ring. Chromatic changes in the scattering properties within a given bandpass are a second order effects which are neglected here. The dust grain size distribution is assumed to be a single power law. The smallest grain size is taken to be amin = 0.03 µm in all models since even smaller grains do not contribute to scattering at visible or near-infrared wavelengths. Since the main interest is the dust grain size distribution, its upper cutoff, amax, was the only parameter that was let to vary in our models. The values of amax ranging from 0.25 µm to 3.0 µm were used. For each value of amax, the average mass of the grains over the entire size distribution is calculated and the total number of grains is then set so that the total dust mass in the ring remains the same in all simulations.
Overall, the GGTau ring scattered light images appear to be only weakly dependent

on wavelength, except for the distance between the center of mass of the system and the

closest edge of the ring, which is larger at 3.8 µm than at all other wavelengths. As the

Monte Carlo modeling shows, this absence of strong chromatic variations in the ring

proves that grains larger than 1 µm are present, therefore that grain growth has occurred in this environment.
Using the AO system on the W. M. Keck II 10m-telescope, the first 3.8 µm scattered light image of the circumbinary dusty torus around the young binary system

GG Tau was obtained. This is the longest wavelength at which the ring has been imaged in scattered light so far (2004). The ring surface brightness variations appear to be remarkably similar to those observed in the visible and near-infrared in previous HST studies of the system, suggesting that the scattering properties of dust grains in the ring are barely dependent on wavelength, a distinctly different behavior when compared to ISM dust models. It was also founnd that the scattered light from the front edge of the ring, which traces the upper optically thick layers above the ring’s midplane, is projected further away from the center of mass of the system at L′ than in shorter wavelength images. This is the consequence of the reduced dust opacity at 3.8 µm and it allows one to probe for the first time the dust scattering properties only 25AU above the midplane, instead of 50AU above it in previous studies.

Using a Monte Carlo multiple scattering numerical code, a multi-wavelength modeling analysis of the scattered light images of the ring was conducted in an attempt to study

in more detail both the geometry of the ring and the properties of the dust grains it contains. All images are best reproduced with a slightly increased inner radius (190AU

instead of 180AU) and steeper density fall-off inside of this radius. The best fit models,

although they systematically predict 3 times too much scattered flux from the ring, result

in excess color indices with respect to the central stars from I to L′ that are consistent with

the observations within 0.1–0.2mag typically. The predicted V − I color of the ring falls

short of the observed one, however, suggesting that there is a limited amount of reddening (AV = 1.0mag) between the stars and the ring.
It is proposed that the GG Tau ring contains more or less unprocessed molecular cloud-like dust grains in its surface layers, about 50AU above the midplane, while significantly larger dust grains are present deeper into the disk, in agreement with the millimeter thermal emission from the system. It is supposed that this stratified structure is a general feature of protoplanetary disks and could be the result of dust settling and/or preferred grain coagulation in the deeper, densest parts of the disks. It’s also concluded that large grains have grown in size in this large circumbinary ring despite its much longer dynamical timescale with respect to typical circumstellar disks where this has already been suggested in the past.
Future work can be done if the devices enabling observation of the object in different wavelengths are deployed, probably in space, where there is no atmosphere influence.

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