ALMA observations of the η Corvi debris disc: Inward scattering of CO-rich exocomets by a chain of 3-30 M⊕ planets?
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Oxford University Press
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Marino Estay, S., Wyatt, M., Panić, O., Matrà, L., Kennedy, G., Bonsor-Matthews, A., Kral, Q., et al. (2017). ALMA observations of the η Corvi debris disc: Inward scattering of CO-rich exocomets by a chain of 3-30 M⊕ planets?. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 465 (3), 2595-2615. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw2867
While most of the known debris discs present cold dust at tens of astronomical unit (au), a few young systems exhibit hot dust analogous to the Zodiacal dust. η Corvi is particularly interesting as it is old and it has both, with its hot dust significantly exceeding the maximum luminosity of an in situ collisional cascade. Previous work suggested that this system could be undergoing an event similar to the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) soon after or during a dynamical instability. Here, we present ALMA observations of η Corvi with a resolution of 1.2 arcsec (~22 au) to study its outer belt. The continuum emission is consistent with an axisymmetric belt, with a mean radius of 152 au and radial full width at half-maximum of 46 au, which is too narrow compared to models of inward scattering of an LHB-like scenario. Instead, the hot dust could be explained as material passed inwards in a rather stable planetary configuration. We also report a 4σ detection of CO at ~20 au. CO could be released in situ from icy planetesimals being passed in when crossing the H2O or CO2 ice lines. Finally, we place constraints on hidden planets in the disc. If a planet is sculpting the disc's inner edge, this should be orbiting at 75-100 au, with a mass of 3-30M⊕ and an eccentricity < 0.08. Such a planet would be able to clear its chaotic zone on a time-scale shorter than the age of the system and scatter material inwards from the outer belt to the inner regions, thus feeding the hot dust.
ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada) and NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan) and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. MCW, LM, AB and QK acknowledge the support of the European Union through ERC grant number 279973. LM also acknowledges support by STFC through a graduate studentship. The work of OP is supported by the Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship. GMK is supported by the Royal Society as a Royal Society University Research Fellow.
Royal Society (UF140298)
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES COUNCIL (ST/N000927/1)
European Research Council (279973)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw2867
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/263801