Volume 405, Number 3, July III 2003
|Page(s)||L33 - L36|
|Published online||30 June 2003|
Letter to the Editor
Discovery of a dust cloud next to σ Orionis
Astrophysics Group, School of Chemistry & Physics, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
Accepted: 26 May 2003
We report on the discovery of a mid-infrared source at a projected distance of only 1200 AU from the O9.5 V star σ Orionis. The spatially resolved, fan-shaped morphology and the presence of an ionization front, as well as evidence in the spectrum for processed dust grains, all suggest that it is a proto-planetary disk being dispersed by the intense ultraviolet radiation from σ Orionis. We compute the mass budget and the photo-evaporation timescale, and discuss the possible nature of this remarkable object.
Key words: circumstellar matter / stars: formation / stars: individual: σ Orionis (HD 37468) / planetary systems: protoplanetary disks / infrared: stars
© ESO, 2003
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