Volume 569, September 2014
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||12 September 2014|
Is the HD 15115 inner disk really asymmetrical?⋆
LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC and Univ. Paris Diderot,
5 place Jules
2 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique (IPAG), 38000 Grenoble, France
3 CNRS, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique (IPAG), 38000 Grenoble, France
Accepted: 29 August 2014
Context. Debris disks are intrinsically connected to the planetary system’s formation and evolution. The development of high-contrast imaging techniques in the past 20 years is now allowing the detection of faint material around bright stars with high angular resolution, hence opening an avenue to study in detail the structures of circumstellar disks and their relation to planetary formation.
Aims. The purpose of this paper is to revisit the morphology of the almost edge-on debris disk around HD 15115.
Methods. We analyzed data from the Gemini science archive obtained in 2009 and 2011 with the Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager instrument in the H and Ks bands using coronagraphy and angular differential imaging techniques.
Results. We resolved the disk in both the H and Ks bands. We confirmed the position angles inferred by previous authors, as well as the brightness asymmetry, which is the origin of the object’s nickname, the blue needle. We were able to detect the bow-like shape of the disk suspected from other observations. However, these new NICI images suggest the presence of a highly inclined ring-like disk of which we see the brighter side and the ansae located at 90 AU symmetrically about the star. The inner part is likely depleted of dust. The fainter side of the disk is suspected but not firmly detected, which also indicates a large anisotropic scattering factor.
Conclusions. The morphological symmetry of the disk contrasts with the obvious brightness asymmetry. This asymmetry may be explained by the coexistence of several types of grains in this disk and/or variable dust density. Interaction with the interstellar medium was invoked by previous authors as a possible explanation but other mechanisms may account for the brightness asymmetry, for instance a recent collision in the disk.
Key words: stars: individual: HD 15115 / techniques: image processing / techniques: high angular resolution / stars: early-type / circumstellar matter
© ESO, 2014
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