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The inner rings of beta Pictoris

Wahhaj, Z. and Koerner, D. W. and Ressler, M. E. and Werner, M. W. and Backman, D. E. and Sargent, A. I. (2003) The inner rings of beta Pictoris. Astrophysical Journal, 584 (1). L27-L31. ISSN 1538-4357


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Publisher’s or external URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/346123


We present Keck images of the dust disk around β Pictoris at λ = 17.9 μm that reveal new structure in its morphology. Within 1'' (19 AU) of the star, the long axis of the dust emission is rotated by more than 10° with respect to that of the overall disk. This angular offset is more pronounced than the warp detected at 3farcs5 by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and is in the opposite direction. By contrast, the long axis of the emission contours ~1farcs5 from the star is aligned with the HST warp. Emission peaks between 1farcs5 and 4'' from the star hint at the presence of rings similar to those observed in the outer disk at ~25'' with the HST Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. A deconvolved image strongly suggests that the newly detected features arise from a system of four noncoplanar rings. Bayesian estimates based on the primary image lead to ring radii of 14 ± 1, 28 ± 3, 52 ± 2, and 82 ± 2 AU, with orbital inclinations that alternate in orientation relative to the overall disk and decrease in magnitude with increasing radius. We believe these new results make a strong case for the existence of a nascent planetary system around β Pic.

Item Type: Article
Publisher’s Statement: © 2003 The American Astronomical Society. Published by IOP Publishing.
ID number or DOI: 10.1086/346123
Keywords: asymmetries; circumstellar disk; circumstellar matter; constraints; dust disk; gap formation; hr-4796a; images; infrared : stars; models; planetary systems : formation; planetary systems : protoplanetary disks; planets; signatures; solar system : formation
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Science > Physics and Astronomy
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2015 18:44
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/441

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