Small and Large Dust Cavities in Disks around Mid-M Stars in Taurus

Yangfan Shi, Feng Long, Gregory J. Herczeg, Daniel Harsono, Yao Liu, Paola Pinilla, Enrico Ragusa, Doug Johnstone, Xue Ning Bai, Ilaria Pascucci, Carlo F. Manara, Gijs D. Mulders, Lucas A. Cieza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High angular resolution imaging by Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has revealed the near universality and diversity of substructures in protoplanetary disks. However, disks around M-type pre-main-sequence stars are still poorly sampled, despite the prevalence of M dwarfs in the Galaxy. Here we present high-resolution (∼50 mas, 8 au) ALMA Band 6 observations of six disks around mid-M stars in Taurus. We detect dust continuum emission in all six disks, 12CO in five disks, and 13CO line in two disks. The size ratios between gas and dust disks range from 1.6 to 5.1. The ratio of about 5 for 2M0436 and 2M0450 indicates efficient dust radial drift. Four disks show rings and cavities, and two disks are smooth. The cavity sizes occupy a wide range: 60 au for 2M0412, and ∼10 au for 2M0434, 2M0436, and 2M0508. Detailed visibility modeling indicates that small cavities of 1.7 and 5.7 au may hide in the two smooth disks 2M0450 and CIDA 12. We perform radiative transfer fitting of the infrared spectral energy distributions to constrain the cavity sizes, finding that micron-sized dust grains may have smaller cavities than millimeter grains. Planet-disk interactions are the preferred explanation to produce the large 60 au cavity, while other physics could be responsible for the three ∼10 au cavities under current observations and theories. Currently, disks around mid- to late M stars in Taurus show a higher detection frequency of cavities than earlier-type stars, although a more complete sample is needed to evaluate any dependence of substructure on stellar mass.

Original languageEnglish
Article number59
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 2024
Externally publishedYes


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