Shadows and cavities in protoplanetary disks: HD 163296, HD 141569A, and HD 150193A in polarized light⋆
1 Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zurich Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
2 Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3 University of Kiel, Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Leibnizstrasse 15, 24098 Kiel, Germany
Received: 23 May 2014
Accepted: 24 June 2014
Context. The morphological evolution of dusty disks around young (a few Myr old) stars is pivotal for a better understanding of planet formation. Since both dust grains and the global disk geometry evolve on short timescales, high-resolution imaging of a sample of objects may provide important indications about this evolution.
Aims. We enlarge the sample of protoplanetary disks imaged in polarized light with high-resolution imaging (≲0.2″) by observing the Herbig Ae/Be stars HD 163296, HD 141569A, and HD 150193A. We combine our data with previous datasets to understand the larger context of their morphology.
Methods. Polarimetric differential imaging is an attractive technique with which to image at near-IR wavelengths a significant fraction of the light scattered by the circumstellar material. The unpolarized stellar light is canceled out by combining two simultaneous orthogonal polarization states. This allowed us to achieve an inner working angle and an angular resolution as low as ~0.1″.
Results. We report a weak detection of the disk around HD 163296 in the H and KS bands. The disk is resolved as a broken ring structure with a significant surface brightness drop inward of 0.6″. No sign of extended polarized emission is detected from the disk around HD 141569A and HD 150193A.
Conclusions. We propose that the absence of scattered light in the inner 0.6″ around HD 163296 and the non-detection of the disk around HD 150193A may be due to similar geometric factors. Since these disks are known to be flat or only moderately flared, self-shadowing by the disk inner wall is the favored explanation. We show that the polarized brightness of a number of disks is indeed related to their flaring angle. Other scenarios (such as dust grain growth or interaction with icy molecules) are also discussed. On the other hand, the non-detection of HD 141569A is consistent with previous datasets that revealed a huge cavity in the dusty disk.
Key words: stars: pre-main sequence / protoplanetary disks / techniques: polarimetric
© ESO, 2014