Dusty clumps in circumbinary discs

Pedro P. Poblete, Nicolás Cuello, Jorge Cuadra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Recent observations have revealed that protoplanetary discs often exhibit cavities and azimuthal asymmetries such as dust traps and clumps. The presence of a stellar binary system in the inner disc regions has been proposed to explain the formation of these structures. Here, we study the dust and gas dynamics in circumbinary discs around eccentric and inclined binaries. This is done through two-fluid simulations of circumbinary discs, considering different values of the binary eccentricity and inclination. We find that two kinds of dust structures can form in the disc: A single horseshoe-shaped clump, on top of a similar gaseous over-density; or numerous clumps, distributed along the inner disc rim. The latter features form through the complex interplay between the dust particles and the gaseous spirals caused by the binary. All these clumps survive between one and several tens of orbital periods at the feature location.We show that their evolution strongly depends on the gas-dust coupling and the binary parameters. Interestingly, these asymmetric features could in principle be used to infer or constrain the orbital parameters of a stellar companion - potentially unseen - inside the inner disc cavity. Finally, we apply our findings to the disc around AB Aurigae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2204-2215
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: General
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical
  • Planets and satellites: Formation
  • Protoplanetary discs
  • Stars: Individual: AB Aurigae


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