Back to Volume
Paper: A Dusty Vortex around KH15D?
Volume: 321, Extrasolar Planets: Today and Tomorrow
Page: 317
Authors: Barge, P.; Viton, M.
Abstract: We propose that the large photometric variations of KH15D are due to an eclipsing swarm of solid particles, trapped in a giant gaseous vortex rotating at ~ 0.2 AU from the star. The efficiency of the capture-in-vortex mechanism easily explains the observed large optical depth. The weaker opacity at mid-eclipse is consistent with a size segregation and a slow concentration of the particles toward the center of the vortex. This dusty structure must extend over ~ 1/3 of an orbit to account for the long eclipse duration. The estimated size of the trapped particles is found to range from 1 cm to 10 cm, consistent with the grey extinction of the star. The observations of KH15D support the idea that giant vortices can grow in circumstellar disks and play a central role in planet formation.
Back to Volume