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Kinematic detection of a planet carving a gap in a protoplanetary disk


We still do not understand how planets form or why extrasolar planetary systems are so different from our own Solar System. However, the past few years have dramatically changed our view of the disks of gas and dust around young stars. Observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and extreme adaptive-optics systems have revealed that most—if not all—disks contain substructure, including rings and gaps1,2,3, spirals4,5,6, azimuthal dust concentrations7 and shadows cast by misaligned inner disks5,8. These features have been interpreted as signatures of newborn protoplanets, but the exact origin is unknown. Here we report the kinematic detection of a few-Jupiter-mass planet located in a gas and dust gap at 130 au in the disk surrounding the young star HD 97048. An embedded planet can explain both the disturbed Keplerian flow of the gas, detected in CO lines, and the gap detected in the dust disk at the same radius. While gaps appear to be a common feature in protoplanetary disks2,3, we present a direct correspondence between a planet and a dust gap, indicating that at least some gaps are the result of planet–disk interactions.

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Fig. 1: ALMA observations of the dust and gas disk surrounding HD 97048.
Fig. 2: Schematic view of the disk as seen by ALMA in a single channel.
Fig. 3: Hydrodynamical model of a 2 MJ planet interacting with the disc of HD 97048.
Fig. 4: Predicted emission for various planet masses.

Data availability

Raw data is publicly available via the ALMA archive under project ID 2016.1.00826.S. Final reduced and calibrated data cubes are available at

Code availability

Phantom is publicly available at mcfost is currently available under request and will be made open-source soon. Figures were generated with splash46 ( and pymcfost (, which are both open source.


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C.P., D.J.P. and V.C. acknowledge funding from the Australian Research Council via FT170100040 and DP180104235. F.M., G.v.d.P. and C.P. acknowledge funding from ANR of France (ANR-16-CE31-0013). This work was performed on the OzSTAR national facility at Swinburne University of Technology. OzSTAR is funded by Swinburne and the Australian Government’s Education Investment Fund. This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA#2016.1.00826.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada) and NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan) and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

Author information




C.P. analysed the data, carried out the modelling and wrote the manuscript. G.v.d.P. wrote the observing proposal and reduced the data. D.J.P. provided advice on running the smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations and made some of the figures. All co-authors provided input on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to C. Pinte.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Peer review information: Nature Astronomy thanks Richard Teague and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Pinte, C., van der Plas, G., Ménard, F. et al. Kinematic detection of a planet carving a gap in a protoplanetary disk. Nat Astron 3, 1109–1114 (2019).

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