Hercules A

Hercules A
Radio-Optical View of the Galaxy Hercules A - Many thanks to: NASA, ESA, S. Baum and C. O'Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ALMA continuum and spectral line observations of the young Brown Dwarf rho-Oph 102 at about 0.89 mm and 3.2 mm - Ricci et al. 2012

"...Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have for the first time found that the outer region of a dusty disk encircling a brown dwarf contains millimeter-sized solid grains like those found in denser disks around newborn stars. The surprising finding challenges theories of how rocky, Earth-scale planets form, and suggests that rocky planets may be even more common in the Universe than expected..."



Artistic impression of a Brown Dwarf above

"We present ALMA continuum and spectral line observations of the young brown dwarf ρ-Oph 102 at about 0.89 mm and 3.2 mm. We detect dust emission from the disk at these wavelengths and derive an upper limit on the radius of the dusty disk of ~40 AU. The derived variation of the dust opacity with frequency in the millimeter (mm) provides evidence for the presence of mm-sized grains in the disk's outer regions. This result demonstrates that mm-sized grains are found even in the low-density environments of brown dwarf disks and challenges our current understanding of dust evolution in disks. The CO map at 345 GHz clearly reveals molecular gas emission at the location of the brown dwarf, indicating a gas-rich disk as typically found for disks surrounding young pre-main-sequence stars. We derive a disk mass of ~0.3%-1% of the mass of the central brown dwarf, similar to the typical values found for disks around more massive young stars."