Resolving the Gap and AU-scale Asymmetries in the Pre-transitional Disk of V1247 Orionis
American Astronomical Society
This is the final version of the article. Available from American Astronomical Society via the DOI in this record.
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 (1.5-13 μm), 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 gsim 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.
This work was done in part under contract with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), funded by NASA through the Sagan Fellowship Program (S.K. and C.E. are Sagan Fellows). Data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory from telescope time allocated to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through the agency's scientific partnership with the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. This work was supported in part by the Aerospace Corporation's Independent Research and Development (IR&D) program. This work was supported by NASA ADP grant NNX09AC73G.
archiveprefix: arXiv primaryclass: astro-ph.SR keywords: accretion, accretion disks, protoplanetary disks, stars: pre-main sequence, techniques: interferometric eid: 80 adsurl: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013ApJ...768...80K adsnote: Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System
Vol. 768, No. 1, pp. 80 - 80