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Radio continuum observations of Class I protostellar discs in Taurus: constraining the greybody tail at centimetre wavelengths


We request that any reference to this paper cites ‘AMI Consortium: Scaife et al. 2011’.



We present deep 1.8 cm (16 GHz) radio continuum imaging of seven young stellar objects in the Taurus molecular cloud. These objects have previously been extensively studied in the submm to near-infrared range and their spectral energy distributions modelled to provide reliable physical and geometrical parameters. We use these new data to constrain the properties of the long-wavelength tail of the greybody spectrum, which is expected to be dominated by emission from large dust grains in the protostellar disc. We find spectra consistent with the opacity indices expected for such a population, with an average opacity index of β= 0.26 ± 0.22 indicating grain growth within the discs. We use spectra fitted jointly to radio and submm data to separate the contributions from thermal dust and radio emission at 1.8 cm and derive disc masses directly from the cm-wave dust contribution. We find that disc masses derived from these flux densities under assumptions consistent with the literature are systematically higher than those calculated from submm data, and meet the criteria for giant planet formation in a number of cases.

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