Resolving the gap and AU-scale asymmetries in pre-transitional disks of V1247 ORIONIS
Monnier, John D.
Harries, Tim J.
The Astrophysical Journal
American Astronomical Society
© 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Pre-transitional disks are protoplanetary disks with a gapped disk structure, potentially indicating the presence of young planets in these systems. In order to explore the structure of these objects and their gap-opening mechanism, we observed the pre-transitional disk V1247 Orionis using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer, the Keck Interferometer, Keck-II, Gemini South, and IRTF. This allows us to spatially resolve the AU-scale disk structure from near- to mid-infrared wavelengths (1.5–13µm), tracing material at different temperatures and over a wide range of stellocentric radii. Our observations reveal a narrow, optically thick inner-disk component (located at 0.18 AU from the star) that is separated from the optically thick outer disk (radii !46 AU), providing unambiguous evidence for the existence of a gap in this pre-transitional disk. Surprisingly, we find that the gap region is filled with significant amounts of optically thin material with a carbon-dominated dust mineralogy. The presence of this optically thin gap material cannot be deduced solely from the spectral energy distribution, yet it is the dominant contributor at mid-infrared wavelengths. Furthermore, using Keck/NIRC2 aperture masking observations in the H, K′ , and L′ bands, we detect asymmetries in the brightness distribution on scales of ∼15–40 AU, i.e., within the gap region. The detected asymmetries are highly significant, yet their amplitude and direction changes with wavelength, which is not consistent with a companion interpretation but indicates an inhomogeneous distribution of the gap material. We interpret this as strong evidence for the presence of complex density structures, possibly reflecting the dynamical interaction of the disk material with sub-stellar mass bodies that are responsible for the gap clearing.
NASA through the Sagan Fellowship Program
W. M. Keck Foundation
Aerospace Corporation’s Independent Research and Development (IR&D) program
adsurl: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013prpl.conf2B051K adsnote: Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System
The Astrophysical Journal, 2013, 768:80