The inner environment of Z Canis Majoris: High-contrast imaging polarimetry with NaCo⋆
1 Departamento de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de Valparaíso, Blanco 951, Valparaíso, Chile
2 Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 36-D, Santiago, Chile
3 UMI-FCA, CNRS/INSU, France (UMI 3386), and Dept. de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
4 Sterrewacht Leiden, Universiteit Leiden, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
5 Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Ejercito 441, Santiago, Chile
6 Millennium Nucleus “Protoplanetary Disks in ALMA Early Science”, Universidad de Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile
7 European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago, Chile
Received: 18 March 2015
Accepted: 20 April 2015
Context. Z CMa is a binary composed of an embedded Herbig Be and an FU Ori class star separated by ~100 au. Observational evidence indicates a complex environment in which each star has a circumstellar disk and drives a jet, and the whole system is embedded in a large dusty envelope.
Aims. We aim to probe the circumbinary environment of Z CMa in the inner 400 au in scattered light.
Methods. We use high-contrast imaging polarimetry with VLT/NaCo at the H and Ks bands.
Results. The central binary is resolved in both bands. The polarized images show three bright and complex structures: a common dust envelope, a sharp extended feature previously reported in direct light, and an intriguing bright clump located south of the binary, which appears spatially connected to the sharp extended feature.
Conclusions. We detect orbital motion when compared to previous observations, and report a new outburst driven by the Herbig star. Our observations reveal the complex inner environment of Z CMa in unprecedented detail and contrast.
Key words: stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be / binaries: general / stars: pre-main sequence / accretion, accretion disks / instrumentation: high angular resolution / techniques: polarimetric
© ESO, 2015