Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013

Poster 2S048

A 3D Numerical Study of Gravitational Instabilities in Young Circumbinary Disks

Cai, Kai (Harry Truman College)
Michael, Scott (Indiana University)
Durisen, Richard (Indiana University)

Gravitational instabilities (GIs) in protoplanetary disks have been suggested as one of the major formation mechanisms of giant planets. Theoretical and computational studies have indicated that certain family of GIs can be excited in a circumbinary disk, which could lead to enhanced protoplanet formation (e.g., Sellwood & Lin 1989, Boss 2006). We have carried out a 3D simulation of a gravitationally unstable circumbinary disk around a young Sun-like star and a 0.02-Msun companion, both inside the central hole of the disk. Here we present a preliminary comparison between this simulation and a similarly simulated circumstellar disk around a solar-mass star but without the low-mass companion. The GIs stimulated by the binary and those that arise spontaneously are quite different in structure and strength. However, no fragmentation is observed, even after many orbital periods as measured in the outer disk.

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