ON THE NATURE OF THE TERTIARY COMPANION TO FW TAU: ALMA CO OBSERVATIONS AND SED MODELING

Claudio Caceres, Adam Hardy, Matthias R. Schreiber, Héctor Cánovas, Lucas A. Cieza, Jonathan P. Williams, Antonio Hales, Christophe Pinte, Francois Ménard, Zahed Wahhaj

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Abstract

It is thought that planetary mass companions may form through gravitational disk instabilities or core accretion. Identifying such objects in the process of formation would provide the most direct test for the competing formation theories. One of the most promising candidates for a planetary mass object still in formation is the third object in the FW Tau system. We present here ALMA cycle 1 observations confirming the recently published 1.3 mm detection of a dust disk around this third object and present for the first time a clear detection of a single peak 12CO (2-1) line, providing direct evidence for the simultaneous existence of a gas disk. We perform radiative transfer modeling of the third object in FW Tau and find that current observations are consistent with either a brown dwarf embedded in an edge-on disk or a planet embedded in a low inclination disk, which is externally irradiated by the binary companion. Further observations with ALMA, aiming for high SNR detections of non-contaminated gas lines, are required to conclusively unveil the nature of the third object in FW Tau.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL22
Number of pages5
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume806
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Circumstellar matter
  • Planetary systems
  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Stars: individual (FW Tau)
  • Techniques: interferometric

Cite this

Caceres, C., Hardy, A., Schreiber, M. R., Cánovas, H., Cieza, L. A., Williams, J. P., Hales, A., Pinte, C., Ménard, F., & Wahhaj, Z. (2015). ON THE NATURE OF THE TERTIARY COMPANION TO FW TAU: ALMA CO OBSERVATIONS AND SED MODELING. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 806(2), [L22]. https://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/806/2/L22