Brown Dwarf Disks with ALMA

L. Ricci, L. Testi, A. Natta, A. Scholz, I. de Gregorio-Monsalvo, A. Isella

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63 Citations (Scopus)


We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array continuum and spectral line data at 0.89 mm and 3.2 mm for three disks surrounding young brown dwarfs and very low mass stars in the Taurus star forming region. Dust thermal emission is detected and spatially resolved for all the three disks, while CO(J = 3-2) emission is seen in two disks. We analyze the continuum visibilities and constrain the disks' physical structure in dust. The results of our analysis show that the disks are relatively large; the smallest one has an outer radius of about 70 AU. The inferred disk radii, radial profiles of the dust surface density, and disk to central object mass ratios lie within the ranges found for disks around more massive young stars. We derive from our observations the wavelength dependence of the millimeter dust opacity. In all the three disks, data are consistent with the presence of grains with at least millimeter sizes, as also found for disks around young stars, and confirm that the early stages of the solid growth toward planetesimals occur also around very low-mass objects. We discuss the implications of our findings on models of solids evolution in protoplanetary disks, the main mechanisms proposed for the formation of brown dwarfs and very low-mass stars, as well as the potential of finding rocky and giant planets around very low-mass objects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2014


  • brown dwarfs
  • circumstellar matter
  • planets and satellites: formation
  • stars: individual: 2M0444+2512 CIDA 1 CFHT Tau 4
  • submillimeter: stars


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