Connecting the shadows: probing inner disk geometries using shadows in transitional disks
1 SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2 Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3 Unidad Mixta Internacional Franco-Chilena de Astronomía, CNRS/INSU UMI 3386 and Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 36-D, Santiago, Chile
4 University Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France
Received: 6 April 2017
Accepted: 8 August 2017
Aims. Shadows in transitional disks are generally interpreted as signs of a misaligned inner disk. This disk is usually beyond the reach of current day high contrast imaging facilities. However, the location and morphology of the shadow features allow us to reconstruct the inner disk geometry.
Methods. We derive analytic equations of the locations of the shadow features as a function of the orientation of the inner and outer disk and the height of the outer disk wall. In contrast to previous claims in the literature, we show that the position angle of the line connecting the shadows cannot be directly related to the position angle of the inner disk.
Results. We show how the analytic framework derived here can be applied to transitional disks with shadow features. We use estimates of the outer disk height to put constraints on the inner disk orientation. In contrast with the results from Long et al. (2017, ApJ, 838, 62), we derive that for the disk surrounding HD 100453 the analytic estimates and interferometric observations result in a consistent picture of the orientation of the inner disk.
Conclusions. The elegant consistency in our analytic framework between observation and theory strongly support both the interpretation of the shadow features as coming from a misaligned inner disk as well as the diagnostic value of near infrared interferometry for inner disk geometry.
Key words: protoplanetary disks / techniques: interferometric / techniques: high angular resolution / stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be
© ESO, 2017