A high-mass protobinary system with spatially resolved circumstellar accretion disks and circumbinary disk
de Wit, W-J
Astrophysical Journal Letters
American Astronomical Society / IOP Publishing
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
High-mass multiples might form via fragmentation of self-gravitational disks or alternative scenarios such as disk-assisted capture. However, only few observational constraints exist on the architecture and disk structure of high-mass protobinaries and their accretion properties. Here we report the discovery of a close (57.9 ± 0.2mas=170au) high-mass protobinary, IRAS17216-3801, where our VLTI/GRAVITY+AMBER near-infrared interferometry allows us to image the circumstellar disks around the individual components with 3milliarcsecond resolution. We estimate the component masses to 20 and 18M⊙ and find that the radial intensity profiles can be reproduced with an irradiated disk model, where the inner regions are excavated of dust, likely tracing the dust sublimation region in these disks. The circumstellar disks are strongly misaligned with respect to the binary separation vector, which indicates that the tidal forces did not have time to realign the disks, pointing towards a young dynamical age of the system. We constrain the distribution of the Br and CO-emitting gas using VLTI/GRAVITY spectro-interferometry and VLT/CRIRES spectro-astrometry and find that the secondary is accreting at a higher rate than the primary. VLT/NACO imaging shows L′-band emission on 3 − 4× larger scales than the binary separation, matching the expected dynamical truncation radius for the circumbinary disk. The IRAS17216-3801 system is 3× more massive and 5× more compact than other high-mass multiplies imaged at infrared wavelengths and the first high-mass protobinary system where circumstellar and circumbinary dust disks could be spatially resolved. This opens exciting new opportunities for studying star-disk interactions and the role of multiplicity in high-mass star formation.
We thank the GRAVITY consortium and the Science Verification team, which is composed of ESO employees and GRAVITY consortium members (https://www.eso.org/sci/activities/vltsv/gravitysv.html). We acknowledge support from an STFC Rutherford fellowship/grant (ST/J004030/1, ST/K003445/1), Marie Sklodowska-Curie CIG grant (#618910), Philip Leverhulme prize (PLP-2013-110), and ERC Starting grant (Grant Agreement #639889).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from American Astronomical Society via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 835, No. 1