Millimeter-sized Dust Grains Surviving the Water-sublimating Temperature in the Inner 10 au of the FU Ori Disk

Hauyu Baobab Liu, An Li Tsai, Wen Ping Chen, Jin Zhong Liu, Xuan Zhang, Shuo Ma, Vardan Elbakyan, Joel D. Green, Antonio S. Hales, Sheng Yuan Liu, Michihiro Takami, Sebastián Pérez, Eduard I. Vorobyov, Yao Lun Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous observations have shown that the ≲10 au, ≳400 K hot inner disk of the archetypal accretion outburst young stellar object, FU Ori, is dominated by viscous heating. To constrain dust properties in this region, we have performed radio observations toward this disk using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in 2020 June–July, September, and November. We also performed complementary optical photometric monitoring observations. We found that the dust thermal emission from the hot inner disk mid-plane of FU Ori has been approximately stationary and the maximum dust grain size is ≳1.6 mm in this region. If the hot inner disk of FU Ori, which is inward of the 150–170 K water snowline, is turbulent (e.g., corresponding to a Sunyaev & Shakura viscous α t ≳ 0.1), or if the actual maximum grain size is still larger than the lower limit we presently constrain, then as suggested by the recent analytical calculations and the laboratory measurements, water-ice-free dust grains may be stickier than water-ice-coated dust grains in protoplanetary disks. Additionally, we find that the free–free emission and the Johnson B- and V-band magnitudes of these binary stars were brightening in 2016–2020. The optical and radio variability might be related to the dynamically evolving protostellar- or disk-accretion activities. Our results highlight that the hot inner disks of outbursting objects are important laboratories for testing models of dust grain growth. Given the active nature of such systems, to robustly diagnose the maximum dust grain sizes, it is important to carry out coordinated multiwavelength radio observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number270
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2021


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