Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nemesis Class Gas Giant HD 106906b is Warping the System's Debris Disk

Direct imaging of an asymmetric debris disk in the HD 106906 planetary system


Kalas et al


We present the first scattered light detections of the HD 106906 debris disk using Gemini/GPI in the infrared and HST/ACS in the optical. HD 106906 is a 13 Myr old F5V star in the Sco-Cen association, with a previously detected planet-mass candidate HD 106906b projected 650 AU from the host star. Our observations reveal a near edge-on debris disk that has a central cleared region with radius ∼50 AU, and an outer extent >500 AU. The HST data show the outer regions are highly asymmetric, resembling the ''needle'' morphology seen for the HD 15115 debris disk. The planet candidate is oriented ∼21deg away from the position angle of the primary's debris disk, strongly suggesting non-coplanarity with the system. We hypothesize that HD 106906b could be dynamically involved in the perturbation of the primary's disk, and investigate whether or not there is evidence for a circumplanetary dust disk or cloud that is either primordial or captured from the primary. We show that both the existing optical properties and near-infrared colors of HD 106906b are weakly consistent with this possibility, motivating future work to test for the observational signatures of dust surrounding the planet.

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