Saturday, January 23, 2016

First Scattered-Light Image of HD 131835's Debris Disk

First Scattered-Light Image of the Debris Disk around HD 131835 with the Gemini Planet Imager


Hung et al


We present the first scattered-light image of the debris disk around HD 131835 in H band using the Gemini Planet Imager. HD 131835 is a ∼15 Myr old A2IV star at a distance of ∼120 pc in the Sco-Cen OB association. We detect the disk only in polarized light and place an upper limit on the peak total intensity. No point sources resembling exoplanets were identified. Compared to its mid-infrared thermal emission, the disk in scattered light shows similar orientation but different morphology. The scattered-light disk extends from ∼75 to ∼210 AU in the disk plane with roughly flat surface density. Our Monte Carlo radiative transfer model can well describe the observations with a model disk composed of a mixture of silicates and amorphous carbon. In addition to the obvious brightness asymmetry due to stronger forward scattering, we discover a weak brightness asymmetry along the major axis with the northeast side being 1.3 times brighter than the southwest side at a 3-{\sigma} level.

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