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How Observations of Circumstellar Disk Asymmetries Can Reveal Hidden Planets: Pericenter Glow and its Application to the HR 4796 Disk  [PDF]
M. C. Wyatt,S. F. Dermott,C. M. Telesco,R. S. Fisher,K. Grogan,E. K. Holmes,R. K. Pina
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1086/308093
Abstract: Recent images of the disks of dust around the young stars HR 4796A and Fomalhaut show, in each case, a double-lobed feature that may be asymmetric (one lobe may be brighter than the other). A symmetric double-lobed structure is that expected from a disk of dust with a central hole that is observed nearly edge-on (i.e., close to the plane of the disk). This paper shows how the gravitational influence of a second body in the system with an eccentric orbit would cause a brightness asymmetry in such a disk by imposing a "forced eccentricity" on the orbits of the constituent dust particles, thus shifting the center of symmetry of the disk away from the star and causing the dust near the forced pericenter of the perturbed disk to glow. Dynamic modeling of the HR 4796 disk shows that its 5% brightness asymmetry could be the result of a forced eccentricity as small as 0.02 imposed on the disk by either the binary companion HR 4796B, or by an unseen planet close to the inner edge of the disk. Since it is likely that a forced eccentricity of 0.01 or higher would be imposed on a disk in a system in which there are planets, but no binary companion, the corresponding asymmetry in the disk's structure could serve as a sensitive indicator of these planets that might otherwise remain undetected.
Deep 10 and 18 micron Imaging of the HR 4796A Circumstellar Disk: Transient Dust Particles & Tentative Evidence for a Brightness Asymmetry  [PDF]
C. M. Telesco,R. S. Fisher,R. K. Pina,R. F. Knacke,S. F. Dermott,M. C. Wyatt,K. Grogan,E. K. Holmes,A. M. Ghez,L. Prato,L. W. Hartmann,R. Jayawardhana
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1086/308332
Abstract: We present new 10.8 and 18.2 micron images of HR 4796A, a young A0V star that was recently discovered to have a spectacular, nearly edge-on, circumstellar disk prominent at ~20 microns (Jayawardhana et al. 1998; Koerner et al. 1998). These new images, obtained with OSCIR at Keck II, show that the disk's size at 10 microns is comparable to its size at 18 microns. Therefore, the 18 micron-emitting dust may also emit some, or all, of the 10 micron radiation. Using these multi-wavelength images, we determine a "characteristic" diameter of 2-3 microns for the mid-infrared-emitting dust particles if they are spherical and composed of astronomical silicates. Particles this small are expected to be blown out of the system by radiation pressure in a few hundred years, and therefore these particles are unlikely to be primordial. Dynamical modeling of the disk (Wyatt et al. 2000) indicates that the disk surface density is relatively sharply peaked near 70 AU, which agrees with the mean annular radius deduced by Schneider et al. (1999) from their NICMOS images. We present evidence (~1.8 sigma significance) for a brightness asymmetry that may result from the presence of the hole and the gravitational perturbation of the disk particle orbits by the low-mass stellar companion or a planet. This "pericenter glow," which must still be confirmed, results from a very small (a few AU) shift of the disk's center of symmetry relative to the central star HR 4796A; one side of the inner boundary of the annulus is shifted towards HR 4796A, thereby becoming warmer and more infrared-emitting. The possible detection of pericenter glow implies that the detection of even complex dynamical effects of planets on disks is within reach.
Forming the Dusty Ring in HR 4796A  [PDF]
Scott J. Kenyon,Kenneth Wood,Barbara A. Whitney,Michael J. Wolff
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1086/312313
Abstract: We describe planetesimal accretion calculations for the dusty ring observed in the nearby A0 star HR 4796A. Models with initial masses of 10-20 times the minimum mass solar nebula produce a ring of width 7-15 AU and height 0.3-0.6 AU at 70 AU in roughly 10 Myr. The ring has a radial optical depth of 1. These results agree with limits derived from infrared images and from the excess infrared luminosity.
On the HR 4796A circumstellar disk  [PDF]
J. C. Augereau,A. M. Lagrange,D. Mouillet,J. C. B. Papaloizou,P. A. Grorod
Physics , 1999,
Abstract: We investigate in details the properties of the disk surrounding the 8 Myr old star HR 4796A, one of the few stars bringing precious clues to better understand the scenario which lead to planetary system formation. We propose a model able to reproduce all the available observations : the full spectral energy distribution from the mid-infrared to the millimeter wavelengths, resolved scattered light and thermal emission observations. We show that the circumstellar matter splits into two dust components : a cold annulus, peaked at 70 AU from the star, made of ISM-like grains (amorphous composition, porosity ~ 0.6) larger than 10 microns and a population of hot dust close to the star (at about 9 AU) made of comet-like grains (crystalline composition, porosity ~ 0.97). Both dust populations are highly collisional and the grain size distribution in the cold annulus is found to be cut-off by radiation pressure. At 70 AU, bodies as large as a few meters are required to fit the data leading to a minimum disk mass of a few Earth masses and to a gas to dust ratio less than 1. We discuss aftewards some implications on the disk structure and effects of larger bodies.
New constraints on the dust surrounding HR 4796A  [PDF]
Julien Milli,Dimitri Mawet,Christophe Pinte,Anne-Marie Lagrange,David Mouillet,Julien H. Girard,Jean-Charles Augereau,Jozua de Boer,Laurent Pueyo,Elodie Choquet
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201423950
Abstract: HR 4796A is surrounded by a well-structured and very bright circumstellar disc shaped like an annulus with many interesting features: very sharp inner and outer edges, brightness asymmetries, centre offset, and suspected distortions in the ring. We aim to constrain the properties of the dust surrounding the star HR 4796A, in particular the grain size and composition. We also want to confirm and refine the morphological parameters derived from previous scattered light observations, and reveal the dust spatial extent in regions unexplored so far due to their proximity to the star. We have obtained new images in polarised light of the binary system HR 4796A and B in the Ks and Lp band with the NaCo instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). In addition, we revisit two archival data sets obtained in the Lp band with that same instrument and at 2.2 microns with the NICMOS instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope. We analyse these observations with simulations using the radiative transfer code MCFOST to investigate the dust properties. We explore a grid of models with various dust compositions and sizes in a Bayesian approach. We detect the disc in polarised light in the Ks band and reveal for the first time the innermost regions down to $0.3"$ along the semi-minor axis. We measure a polarised fraction of $29\%\pm8\%$ in the two disc ansae, with a maximum occurring more than $13^\circ$ westwards from the ansae. A very pronounced brightness asymmetry between the north-west and south-east side is detected. This contradicts the asymmetry previously reported in all images of the disc in unpolarised light at wavelengths smaller than or equal to 2.2 microns and is inconsistent with the predicted scattered light from spherical grains using the Mie theory. Our modelling suggests the north-west side is most likely inclined towards the Earth, contrary to previous conclusions.
On the Morphology and Chemical Composition of the HR 4796A Debris Disk  [PDF]
Timothy J. Rodigas,Christopher C. Stark,Alycia Weinberger,John H. Debes,Philip M. Hinz,Laird Close,Christine Chen,Paul S. Smith,Jared R. Males,Andrew J. Skemer,Alfio Puglisi,Katherine B. Follette,Katie Morzinski,Ya-Lin Wu,Runa Briguglio,Simone Esposito,Enrico Pinna,Armando Riccardi,Glenn Schneider,Marco Xompero
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/798/2/96
Abstract: [abridged] We present resolved images of the HR 4796A debris disk using the Magellan adaptive optics system paired with Clio-2 and VisAO. We detect the disk at 0.77 \microns, 0.91 \microns, 0.99 \microns, 2.15 \microns, 3.1 \microns, 3.3 \microns, and 3.8 \microns. We find that the deprojected center of the ring is offset from the star by 4.76$\pm$1.6 AU and that the deprojected eccentricity is 0.06$\pm$0.02, in general agreement with previous studies. We find that the average width of the ring is 14$^{+3}_{-2}%$, also comparable to previous measurements. Such a narrow ring precludes the existence of shepherding planets more massive than \about 4 \mj, comparable to hot-start planets we could have detected beyond \about 60 AU in projected separation. Combining our new scattered light data with archival HST/STIS and HST/NICMOS data at \about 0.5-2 \microns, along with previously unpublished Spitzer/MIPS thermal emission data and all other literature thermal data, we set out to constrain the chemical composition of the dust grains. After testing 19 individual root compositions and more than 8,400 unique mixtures of these compositions, we find that good fits to the scattered light alone and thermal emission alone are discrepant, suggesting that caution should be exercised if fitting to only one or the other. When we fit to both the scattered light and thermal emission simultaneously, we find mediocre fits (reduced chi-square \about 2). In general, however, we find that silicates and organics are the most favored, and that water ice is usually not favored. These results suggest that the common constituents of both interstellar dust and solar system comets also may reside around HR 4796A, though improved modeling is necessary to place better constraints on the exact chemical composition of the dust.
Accumulated Tidal Heating of Stars Over Multiple Pericenter Passages Near SgrA*  [PDF]
Gongjie Li,Abraham Loeb
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sts567
Abstract: We consider the long-term tidal heating of a star by the supermassive black hole at the Galactic center, SgrA*. We show that gravitational interaction with background stars leads to a linear growth of the tidal excitation energy with the number of pericenter passages near SgrA*. The accumulated heat deposited by excitation of modes within the star over many pericenter passages can lead to a runaway disruption of the star at a pericenter distance that is 4-5 times farther than the standard tidal disruption radius. The accumulated heating may explain the lack of massive ($\gtrsim 10M_{\odot}$) S-stars closer than several tens of AU from SgrA*.
NICMOS Imaging of the HR 4796A Circumstellar Disk  [PDF]
Glenn Schneider,Bradford A. Smith,E. E. Becklin,David W. Koerner,Roland Meier,Dean C. Hines,Patrick J. Lowrance,Richard J. Terrile,Rodger I. Thompson,Marcia Rieke
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1086/311921
Abstract: We report the first near infrared (NIR) imaging of a circumstellar annular disk around the young (~8 Myr), Vega-like star, HR 4796A. NICMOS coronagraph observations at 1.1 and 1.6 microns reveal a ring-like symmetrical structure peaking in reflected intensity 1.05 arcsec +/- 0.02 arcsec (~ 70 AU) from the central A0V star. The ring geometry, with an inclination of 73.1 deg +/- 1.2 deg and a major axis PA of 26.8 deg +/- 0.6 deg, is in good agreement with recent 12.5 and 20.8 micron observations of a truncated disk (Koerner, et al. 1998). The ring is resolved with a characteristic width of less than 0.26 arcsec (17 AU) and appears abruptly truncated at both the inner and outer edges. The region of the disk-plane inward of ~60 AU appears to be relatively free of scattering material. The integrated flux density of the part of the disk that is visible (greater than 0.65 arcsec from the star) is found to be 7.5 +/- 0.5 mJy and 7.4 +/- 1.2 mJy at 1.1 and 1.6 microns, respectively. Correcting for the unseen area of the ring yields total flux densities of 12.8 +/- 1.0 mJy and 12.5 +/- 2.0 mJy, respectively (Vega magnitudes = 12.92 /+- 0.08 and 12.35 +/-0.18). The NIR luminosity ratio is evaluated from these results and ground-based photometry of the star. At these wavelengths Ldisk(lambda)/L*(lambda) = 1.4 +/- 0.2E-3 and 2.4 +/- 0.5E-3, giving reasonable agreement between the stellar flux scattered in the NIR and that which is absorbed in the visible and re-radiated in the thermal infrared. The somewhat red reflectance of the disk at these wavelengths implies mean particle sizes in excess of several microns, larger than typical interstellar grains. The confinement of material to a relatively narrow annular zone implies dynamical constraints on the disk particles by one or more as yet unseen bodies.
Speckle Suppression Through Dual Imaging Polarimetry, and a Ground-Based Image of the HR 4796A Circumstellar Disk  [PDF]
Sasha Hinkley,Ben R. Oppenheimer,Remi Soummer,Douglas Brenner,James R. Graham,Marshall D. Perrin,Anand Sivaramakrishnan,James P. Lloyd,Lewis C. Roberts Jr.,Jeffrey Kuhn
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/701/1/804
Abstract: We demonstrate the versatility of a dual imaging polarimeter working in tandem with a Lyot coronagraph and Adaptive Optics to suppress the highly static speckle noise pattern--the greatest hindrance to ground-based direct imaging of planets and disks around nearby stars. Using a double difference technique with the polarimetric data, we quantify the level of speckle suppression, and hence improved sensitivity, by placing an ensemble of artificial faint companions into real data, with given total brightness and polarization. For highly polarized sources within 0.5 arcsec, we show that we achieve 3 to 4 magnitudes greater sensitivity through polarimetric speckle suppression than simply using a coronagraph coupled to a high-order Adaptive Optics system. Using such a polarimeter with a classical Lyot coronagraph at the 3.63m AEOS telescope, we have obtained a 6.5 sigma detection in the H-band of the 76 AU diameter circumstellar debris disk around the star HR 4796A. Our data represent the first definitive, ground-based, near-IR polarimetric image of the HR 4796A debris disk and clearly show the two outer ansae of the disk, evident in Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS/STIS imaging. We derive a lower limit to the fractional linear polarization of 29% caused by dust grains in the disk. In addition, we fit simple morphological models of optically thin disks to our data allowing us to constrain the dust disk scale height to 2.5{+5.0}_{-1.3} AU and scattering asymmetry parameter (g=0.20^{+.07}_{-.10}). These values are consistent with several lines of evidence suggesting that the HR 4796A disk is dominated by a micron-sized dust population, and are indeed typical of disks in transition between those surrounding the Herbig Ae stars to those associated with Vega-like stars.
Polarimetry with the Gemini Planet Imager: Methods, Performance at First Light, and the Circumstellar Ring around HR 4796A  [PDF]
Marshall D. Perrin,Gaspard Duchene,Max Millar-Blanchaer,Michael P. Fitzgerald,James R. Graham,Sloane J. Wiktorowicz,Paul G. Kalas,Bruce Macintosh,Brian Bauman,Andrew Cardwell,Jeffrey Chilcote,Robert J. De Rosa,Daren Dillon,René Doyon,Jennifer Dunn,Donald Gavel,Stephen Goodsell,Markus Hartung,Pascale Hibon,Patrick Ingraham,Daniel Kerley,Quinn Konapacky,James E. Larkin,Jér?me Maire,Franck Marchis,Christian Marois,Tushar Mittal,Katie M. Morzinski,B. R. Oppenheimer,David W. Palmer,Jennifer Patience,Lisa Poyneer,Laurent Pueyo,Fredrik T. Rantakyr?,Naru Sadakuni,Leslie Saddlemyer,Dmitry Savransky,Rémi Soummer,Anand Sivaramakrishnan,Inseok Song,Sandrine Thomas,J. Kent Wallace,Jason J. Wang,Schuyler G. Wolff
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/799/2/182
Abstract: We present the first results from the polarimetry mode of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), which uses a new integral field polarimetry architecture to provide high contrast linear polarimetry with minimal systematic biases between the orthogonal polarizations. We describe the design, data reduction methods, and performance of polarimetry with GPI. Point spread function subtraction via differential polarimetry suppresses unpolarized starlight by a factor of over 100, and provides sensitivity to circumstellar dust reaching the photon noise limit for these observations. In the case of the circumstellar disk around HR 4796A, GPI's advanced adaptive optics system reveals the disk clearly even prior to PSF subtraction. In polarized light, the disk is seen all the way in to its semi-minor axis for the first time. The disk exhibits surprisingly strong asymmetry in polarized intensity, with the west side >9 times brighter than the east side despite the fact that the east side is slightly brighter in total intensity. Based on a synthesis of the total and polarized intensities, we now believe that the west side is closer to us, contrary to most prior interpretations. Forward scattering by relatively large silicate dust particles leads to the strong polarized intensity on the west side, and the ring must be slightly optically thick in order to explain the lower brightness in total intensity there. These findings suggest that the ring is geometrically narrow and dynamically cold, perhaps shepherded by larger bodies in the same manner as Saturn's F ring.
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