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The Inner Disk of RY Tau: Evidence of Stellar Occultation by the Disk Atmosphere at the Sublimation Rim from K-band Continuum Interferometry

Davies, Claire L. and Kraus, Stefan and Harries, Tim J. and Monnier, John D. and Kloppenborg, Brian and Aarnio, Alicia and Baron, Fabien and Garcia Lopez, Rebeca and Millan-Gabet, Rafael and Parks, Robert and Pedretti, Ettore and Perraut, Karine and Sturmann, Judit and Sturmann, Laszlo and ten Brummelaar, Theo A. and Touhami, Yamina (2020) The Inner Disk of RY Tau: Evidence of Stellar Occultation by the Disk Atmosphere at the Sublimation Rim from K-band Continuum Interferometry. Astrophysical Journal, 897 (1). Art. No. 31. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab93c1.

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We present models of the inner region of the circumstellar disk of RY Tau that aim to explain our near-infrared (K-band: 2.1 μm) interferometric observations, while remaining consistent with the optical to near-infrared portions of the spectral energy distribution. Our submilliarcsecond-resolution CHARA Array observations are supplemented with shorter baseline, archival data from PTI, KI, and VLTI/GRAVITY and modeled using an axisymmetric Monte Carlo radiative transfer code. The K-band visibilities are well fit by models incorporating a central star illuminating a disk with an inner edge shaped by dust sublimation at 0.210 ± 0.005 au, assuming a viewing geometry adopted from millimeter interferometry (65° inclined with a disk major axis position angle of 23°). This sublimation radius is consistent with that expected of silicate grains with a maximum size of 0.36–0.40 μm contributing to the opacity, and is an order of magnitude further from the star than the theoretical magnetospheric truncation radius. The visibilities on the longest baselines probed by CHARA indicate that we lack a clear line of sight to the stellar photosphere. Instead, our analysis shows that the central star is occulted by the disk surface layers close to the sublimation rim. While we do not see direct evidence of temporal variability in our multiepoch CHARA observations, we suggest the aperiodic photometric variability of RY Tau is likely related temporal and/or azimuthal variations in the structure of the disk surface layers.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Davies, Claire L.0000-0001-9764-2357
Kraus, Stefan0000-0001-6017-8773
Harries, Tim J.0000-0001-8228-9503
Monnier, John D.0000-0002-3380-3307
Kloppenborg, Brian0000-0003-0350-5453
Aarnio, Alicia0000-0002-1327-9659
Baron, Fabien0000-0002-8376-8941
Garcia Lopez, Rebeca0000-0002-2144-0991
Millan-Gabet, Rafael0000-0003-0447-5866
ten Brummelaar, Theo A.0000-0002-0114-7915
Touhami, Yamina0000-0002-8627-2415
Additional Information:© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 March 16; revised 2020 May 6; accepted 2020 May 14; published 2020 June 30. We thank the anonymous referee whose comments ensured greater clarity in the presentation of our results. C.L.D. and S.K. acknowledge support from the ERC Starting Grant "ImagePlanetFormDiscs" (grant Agreement No. 639889). R.G.L. acknowledges support by Science Foundation Ireland under grant No. 18/SIRG/5597. We thank Bernard Lazareff, Jean-Baptiste Le Bouquin and Rachel Akeson for their assistance in acquiring archival data and University of Exeter summer research project student Daniel J. Barker for his assistance in incorporating automatic VisIt plotting functionality into the analysis pipeline. C.L.D. thanks Aaron Labdon, Scott Gregory, Jean-Francois Donati, Francois Menard and Catherine Dougados for helpful discussions. This work is based upon observations obtained with the Georgia State University Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) Array at Mount Wilson Observatory and data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility. The CHARA Array is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant No. AST-1636624 and AST-1715788. Institutional support has been provided from the GSU College of Arts and Sciences and the GSU Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. The calculations for this paper were performed on the University of Exeter Supercomputer, a DiRAC Facility jointly funded by STFC, the Large Facilities Capital Fund of BIS, and the University of Exeter. This research has made use of: the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA), which is operated by the W. M. Keck Observatory and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI), under contract with NASA; the Jean-Marie Mariotti Center OiDB service;16 the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France; the VizieR catalog access tool, CDS, Strasbourg, France; NASA's Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services. This work has made use of services produced by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at the California Institute of Technology. The Palomar Testbed Interferometer was operated by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute and the PTI collaboration. It was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology with funding provided from NASA. Facilities: VLTI - The Very Large Telescope Interferometer, CHARA - , Keck - , PTI - . Software: TORUS (Harries et al. 2019), pysynphot (STScI Development Team 2013), NumPy (VanDerWalt et al. 2011), matplotlib (Hunter 2007), Astropy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)639889
Science Foundation, Ireland18/SIRG/5597
Georgia State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Optical interferometry ; Star formation ; Circumstellar disks ; Young stellar objects ; T Tauri stars ; Herbig Ae/Be stars ; Infrared excess ; Near infrared astronomy ; Radiative transfer
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Optical interferometry (1168); Star formation (1569); Circumstellar disks (235); Young stellar objects (1834); T Tauri stars (1681); Herbig Ae/Be stars (723); Infrared excess (788); Near infrared astronomy (1093)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200630-110605496
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Claire L. Davies et al 2020 ApJ 897 31
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104163
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Jun 2020 18:51
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:29

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