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Paper: Resolved Substructures in Protoplanetary Disks with the ngVLA
Monograph: 7, Science with a Next Generation Very Large Array
Page: 137
Authors: Andrews, S. M.; Wilner, D. J.; Macías, E.; Carrasco-González, C.; Isella, A.
Abstract: Terrestrial planets and the cores of giant planets are thought to be built by the collisional agglomeration of solids spanning over 20 orders of magnitude in size within a few million years. However, there is tension between this basic picture of planet formation and standard theoretical assumptions associated with the migration of “pebbles" (∼mm/cm-sized particles) from the gaseous disks and presumably much longer timescales necessary to assemble (∼km-scale) “planetesimals". To confront these potential theoretical discrepancies with observational constraints, the ideal tracer of the solids concentrated in protoplanetary disk substructures is the 30–100 GHz continuum, which strikes the best balance in sensitivity (emission still bright), optical depth (low enough to reliably estimate densities), and angular resolution (high enough to resolve fine-scale features at disk radii as small as 1 au). With its combination of sensitivity, frequency coverage and angular resolution, the next-generation VLA will be only facility that has the capabilities to open up this new window into physics of planetesimal formation.
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