Effect of dust size and structure on scattered light images of protoplanetary discs

Research paper by Ryo Tazaki, Hidekazu Tanaka, Takayuki Muto, Akimasa Kataoka, Satoshi Okuzumi

Indexed on: 06 Mar '19Published on: 05 Mar '19Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics


We study scattered light properties of protoplanetary discs at near-infrared wavelengths for various dust size and structure by performing radiative transfer simulations. We show that different dust structures might be probed by measuring disk polarisation fraction as long as the dust radius is larger than the wavelength. When the radius is larger than the wavelength, disc scattered light will be highly polarised for highly porous dust aggregates, whereas more compact dust structure tends to show low polarisation fraction. Next, roles of monomer radius and fractal dimension for scattered light colours are studied. We find that, outside the Rayleigh regime, as fractal dimension or monomer radius increases, colours of the effective albedo at near-infrared wavelengths vary from blue to red. Our results imply that discs showing grey or slightly blue colours and high polarisation fraction in near-infrared wavelengths might be explained by the presence of large porous aggregates containing sub-microns sized monomers.