Sunday, July 5, 2015

Resolving the HD 100546's Disk Structure

Resolving structure of the disk around HD100546 at 7 mm with ATCA


Wright et al


There is much evidence that planet formation is occurring in the disk around the Herbig Be star HD100546. To learn more about the processes occurring in this disk we conducted high resolution imaging at 43/45 GHz with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). Multiple array configurations were used, providing a best spatial resolution of ∼ 0.15 arcsec, or 15 AU at HD100546's distance of ∼ 100 pc. Significant structure is revealed, but its precise form is dependent on the u−v plane sampling used for the image reconstruction. At a resolution of ≤ 30 AU we detected an inner gap in the disk with a radius of ∼ 25 AU and a position angle approximately along the known disk major axis. With different weighting, and an achieved resolution of ∼ 15 AU, emission appears at the centre and the disk takes on the shape of an incomplete ring, much like a horseshoe, again with a gap radius of ∼ 25 AU. The position angle of the disk major axis and its inclination from face-on are determined to be 140∘±5∘ and 40∘±5∘ respectively. The ∼ 25 AU gap radius is confirmed by a null in the real part of the binned visibilities at 320±10 kλ, whilst the non-axisymmetric nature is also confirmed through significant structure in the imaginary component. The emission mechanism at the central peak is most likely to be free-free emission from a stellar or disk wind. Overall our data support the picture of at least one, but probably several, giant planets orbiting HD100546 within 25 AU.

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