HD 98800: A 10-Myr-Old Transition Disk

Furlan, E.
Sargent, B.
Calvet, N.
Forrest, W. J.
D'Alessio, P.
Hartmann, L.
Watson, D. M.
Green, J. D.
Najita, J.
Chen, C. H.
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We present the mid-infrared spectrum, obtained with the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS), of HD 98800, a quadruple star system located in the 10-Myr-old TW Hydrae association. It has a known mid-infrared excess that arises from a circumbinary disk around the B components of the system. The IRS spectrum confirms that the disk around HD 98800 B displays no excess emission below about 5.5 micron, implying an optically thick disk wall at 5.9 AU and an inner, cleared-out region; however, some optically thin dust, consisting mainly of 3-micron-sized silicate dust grains, orbits the binary in a ring between 1.5 and 2 AU. The peculiar structure and apparent lack of gas in the HD 98800 B disk suggests that this system is likely already at the debris disks stage, with a tidally truncated circumbinary disk of larger dust particles and an inner, second-generation dust ring, possibly held up by the resonances of a planet. The unusually large infrared excess can be explained by gravitational perturbations of the Aa+Ab pair puffing up the outer dust ring and causing frequent collisions among the larger particles.
Comment: 10 pages, 8 figures