The extremely truncated circumstellar disc of V410 X-ray 1: A precursor to TRAPPIST-1?

11 May 2018

Protoplanetary discs around brown dwarfs and very low mass stars offer some of the best prospects for forming Earth-sized planets in their habitable zones. To this end, we study the nature of the disc around the very low mass star V410 X-ray 1, whose SED is indicative of an optically thick and very truncated dust disc, with our modelling suggesting an outer radius of only 0.6 au. We investigate two scenarios that could lead to such a truncation, and find that the observed SED is compatible with both. The first scenario involves the truncation of both the dust and gas in the disc, perhaps due to a previous dynamical interaction or the presence of an undetected companion. The second scenario involves the fact that a radial location of 0.6 au is close to the expected location of the H$_2$O snowline in the disc. As such, a combination of efficient dust growth, radial migration, and subsequent fragmentation within the snowline leads to an optically thick inner dust disc and larger, optically thin outer dust disc. We find that a firm measurement of the CO $J=2$--1 line flux would enable us to distinguish between these two scenarios, by enabling a measurement of the radial extent of gas in the disc. Many models we consider contain at least several Earth-masses of dust interior to 0.6 au, suggesting that V410 X-ray 1 could be a precursor to a system with tightly-packed inner planets, such as TRAPPIST-1.