Determined using AMBER/VLTI imaging
Max-Planck Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany e-mail: FMillour@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de
2 UMR 6525 H. Fizeau, Univ. Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, 06108 Nice Cedex 2, France
3 UMR 6202 Cassiopée, Univ. Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, BP 4229, 06304 Nice, France
4 UMR 5574 CRAL, Univ. Lyon 1, Obs. Lyon, CNRS, 9 avenue Charles André, 69561 Saint Genis Laval Cedex, France
5 Astrophysics Group, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, J.J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK
6 Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão 1226, Cidade Universitária, 05508-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
7 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS UMR 8109, UPMC, Univ. Paris Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
8 Faculty of Science, Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek”, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Accepted: 2 August 2009
Context. The star HD 87643, exhibiting the “B[e] phenomenon”, has one of the most extreme infrared excesses for this object class. It harbours a large amount of both hot and cold dust, and is surrounded by an extended reflection nebula.
Aims. One of our major goals was to investigate the presence of a companion in HD87643. In addition, the presence of close dusty material was tested through a combination of multi-wavelength high spatial resolution observations.
Methods. We observed HD 87643 with high spatial resolution techniques, using the near-IR AMBER/VLTI interferometer with baselines ranging from 60 m to 130 m and the mid-IR MIDI/VLTI interferometer with baselines ranging from 25 m to 65 m. These observations are complemented by NACO/VLT adaptive-optics-corrected images in the K and L-bands, and ESO-2.2m optical Wide-Field Imager large-scale images in the B, V and R-bands.
Results. We report the direct detection of a companion to HD 87643 by means of image synthesis using the AMBER/VLTI instrument. The presence of the companion is confirmed by the MIDI and NACO data, although with a lower confidence. The companion is separated by ~34 mas with a roughly north-south orientation. The period must be large (several tens of years) and hence the orbital parameters are not determined yet. Binarity with high eccentricity might be the key to interpreting the extreme characteristics of this system, namely a dusty circumstellar envelope around the primary, a compact dust nebulosity around the binary system and a complex extended nebula suggesting past violent ejections.
Key words: techniques: high angular resolution / techniques: interferometric / stars: emission-line, Be / binaries: close / circumstellar matter / stars: individual: HD 87643
© ESO, 2009