Volume 524, December 2010
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||19 November 2010|
Letter to the Editor
Dissecting the Moth: discovery of an off-centered ring in the HD 61005 debris disk with high-resolution imaging⋆,⋆⋆
Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zurich, 8093
2 Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany
3 Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, UMR 6110, CNRS, Université de Provence, 13388 Marseille, France
4 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, 92195 Meudon, France
5 Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, UMR 5571, CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier, 38041 Grenoble, France
6 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Padova, Italy
7 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, Italy
8 College of Charleston, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
9 European Southern Observatory: Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
10 University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Accepted: 9 November 2010
The debris disk known as “The Moth” is named after its unusually asymmetric surface brightness distribution. It is located around the ~90 Myr old G8V star HD 61005 at 34.5 pc and has previously been imaged by the HST at 1.1 and 0.6 μm. Polarimetric observations suggested that the circumstellar material consists of two distinct components, a nearly edge-on disk or ring, and a swept-back feature, the result of interaction with the interstellar medium. We resolve both components at unprecedented resolution with VLT/NACO H-band imaging. Using optimized angular differential imaging techniques to remove the light of the star, we reveal the disk component as a distinct narrow ring at inclination i = 84.3 ± 1.0°. We determine a semi-major axis of a = 61.25 ± 0.85 AU and an eccentricity of e = 0.045 ± 0.015, assuming that periastron is located along the apparent disk major axis. Therefore, the ring center is offset from the star by at least 2.75 ± 0.85 AU. The offset, together with a relatively steep inner rim, could indicate a planetary companion that perturbs the remnant planetesimal belt. From our imaging data we set upper mass limits for companions that exclude any object above the deuterium-burning limit for separations down to . The ring shows a strong brightness asymmetry along both the major and minor axis. A brighter front side could indicate forward-scattering grains, while the brightness difference between the NE and SW components can be only partly explained by the ring center offset, suggesting additional density enhancements on one side of the ring. The swept-back component appears as two streamers originating near the NE and SW edges of the debris ring.
Key words: techniques: high angular resolution / circumstellar matter / protoplanetary disks / stars: individual: HD 61005
Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, ESO program 0184.C-0567(E).
Appendices are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2010
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.