Imaging the dust sublimation front of a circumbinary disk⋆
1 Instituut voor Sterrenkunde (IvS), KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
2 School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL, UK
3 UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) UMR 5274, 38041 Grenoble, France
4 ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei Munchen, Germany
5 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional (OAN-IGN), Apartado 112, 28803 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Received: 14 January 2016
Accepted: 16 February 2016
Aims. We present the first near-IR milli-arcsecond-scale image of a post-AGB binary that is surrounded by hot circumbinary dust.
Methods. A very rich interferometric data set in six spectral channels was acquired of IRAS 08544-4431 with the new RAPID camera on the PIONIER beam combiner at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). A broadband image in the H-band was reconstructed by combining the data of all spectral channels using the SPARCO method.
Results. We spatially separate all the building blocks of the IRAS 08544-4431 system in our milliarcsecond-resolution image. Our dissection reveals a dust sublimation front that is strikingly similar to that expected in early-stage protoplanetary disks, as well as an unexpected flux signal of ~4% from the secondary star. The energy output from this companion indicates the presence of a compact circum-companion accretion disk, which is likely the origin of the fast outflow detected in Hα.
Conclusions. Our image provides the most detailed view into the heart of a dusty circumstellar disk to date. Our results demonstrate that binary evolution processes and circumstellar disk evolution can be studied in detail in space and over time.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / binaries: spectroscopic / techniques: high angular resolution / infrared: stars / techniques: interferometric / circumstellar matter
© ESO, 2016