EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 429, Number 1, January I 2005
Page(s) L1 - L4
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200400097

A&A 429, L1-L4 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200400097


VINCI-VLTI measurements of HR 4049: The physical size of the circumbinary envelope

S. Antoniucci1, 2, 3, F. Paresce3 and M. Wittkowski3

1  Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata", via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Roma, Italy
2  INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via di Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio Catone, Italy
    e-mail: antoniucci@mporzio.astro.it
3  ESO-European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany

(Received 22 June 2004 / Accepted 30 October 2004 )

We present the first detection of the envelope which surrounds the post-AGB binary source HR 4049. VINCI-VLTI K-band interferometric observations of this source imply the existence of a large structure with a Gaussian angular FWHM  $22.4 \pm 1.4$ mas or uniform disk diameter of $34.9 \pm 1.9$ mas. With the Hipparcos parallax of $1.50 \pm 0.64$ mas these values correspond to a physical size of 14.9+11.1-4.4 AU and 23.3+17.3-7.0 AU, respectively. Our measurements, covering an azimuth range of ~60° for the sky-projected baseline, provide information on the geometry of the emitting region and show that there is only a slight variation of the measured angular values along the different directions sampled. Thus, our results are consistent with a spherical geometry of the envelope. However, we cannot completely rule out the existence of an asymmetric envelope (like the circumbinary disk envisaged by some recent models) because of the limited spatial frequency and azimuth range covered by the observations.

Key words: techniques: interferometric -- circumstellar matter -- stars: AGB and post-AGB -- stars: evolution

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