Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics, ETH Zurich,
2 Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 23 July 2018
Context. Debris disks or belts are important signposts for the presence of colliding planetesimals and, therefore, for ongoing planet formation and evolution processes in young planetary systems. Imaging of debris material at small separations from the star is very challenging but provides valuable insights into the spatial distribution of the so-called hot dust produced by solid bodies located in or near the habitable zone. We report the first detection of scattered light from the hot dust around the nearby (d = 28.33 pc) A star HD 172555.
Aims. We want to constrain the geometric structure of the detected debris disk using polarimetric differential imaging (PDI) with a spatial resolution of 25 mas and an inner working angle of about 0.1″.
Methods. We measured the polarized light of HD 172555, with SPHERE/ZIMPOL, in the very broadband (VBB) or RI filter (λc = 735 nm, Δλ = 290 nm) for the projected separations between 0.08″ (2.3 au) and 0.77″ (22 au). We constrained the disk parameters by fitting models for scattering of an optically thin dust disk taking the limited spatial resolution and coronagraphic attenuation of our data into account.
Results. The geometric structure of the disk in polarized light shows roughly the same orientation and outer extent as obtained from thermal emission at 18 μm. Our image indicates the presence of a strongly inclined (i ≈ 103.5°), roughly axisymmetric dust belt with an outer radius in the range between 0.3″ (8.5 au) and 0.4″ (11.3 au). An inner disk edge is not detected in the data. We derive a lower limit for the polarized flux contrast ratio for the disk of (Fpol)disk/F∗ > (6.2 ± 0.6) × 10−5 in the VBB filter. This ratio is small, only ~9%, when compared to the fractional infrared flux excess (≈ 7.2 × 10−4). The model simulations show that more polarized light could be produced by the dust located inside ≈2 au, which cannot be detected with the instrument configuration used.
Conclusions. Our data confirm previous infrared imaging and provide a higher resolution map of the system, which could be further improved with future observations.
Key words: planetary systems / scattering / stars: individual: HD 172555 / techniques: high angular resolution / techniques: polarimetric
The reduced images (FITS files) are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/618/A151
© ESO 2018