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Hot circumstellar material resolved around β Pic with VLTI/PIONIER

Defrère, D. and Lebreton, J. and Le Bouquin, J.-B. and Lagrange, A.-M. and Absil, O. and Augereau, J.-C. and Berger, J.-P. and Di Folco, E. and Ertel, S. and Kluska, J. and Montagnier, G. and Millan-Gabet, R. and Traub, W. and Zins, G. (2012) Hot circumstellar material resolved around β Pic with VLTI/PIONIER. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 546 . Art. No. L9. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201220287.

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Aims. We aim at resolving the circumstellar environment around β Pic in the near-infrared in order to study the inner planetary system (<200 mas, i.e., ~4 AU). Methods. Precise interferometric fringe visibility measurements were obtained over seven spectral channels dispersed across the H band with the four-telescope VLTI/PIONIER interferometer. Thorough analysis of interferometric data was performed to measure the stellar angular diameter and to search for circumstellar material. Results. We detected near-infrared circumstellar emission around β Pic that accounts for 1.37% ± 0.16% of the near-infrared stellar flux and that is located within the field-of-view of PIONIER (i.e., ~200 mas in radius). The flux ratio between this excess and the photosphere emission is shown to be stable over a period of 1 year and to vary only weakly across the H band, suggesting that the source is either very hot (≳1500 K) or dominated by the scattering of the stellar flux. In addition, we derive the limb-darkened angular diameter of β Pic with an unprecedented accuracy (θ_LD= 0.736 ± 0.019 mas). Conclusions. The presence of a small H-band excess originating in the vicinity of β Pic is revealed for the first time thanks to the high-precision visibilities enabled by VLTI/PIONIER. This excess emission is likely due to the scattering of stellar light by circumstellar dust and/or the thermal emission from a yet unknown population of hot dust, although hot gas emitting in the continuum cannot be firmly excluded.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Defrère, D.0000-0003-3499-2506
Lebreton, J.0000-0003-1476-5963
Absil, O.0000-0002-4006-6237
Berger, J.-P.0000-0001-5025-0428
Ertel, S.0000-0002-2314-7289
Kluska, J.0000-0002-9491-393X
Millan-Gabet, R.0000-0003-0447-5866
Additional Information:© 2012 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 25 August 2012; Accepted 1 October 2012. Published online 18 October 2012. D.D., J.B.L.B., J.L., O.A., J.C.A., and S.E. thank the French National Research Agency (ANR) for financial support through contract ANR-2010 BLAN-0505-01 (EXOZODI). D.D. acknowledges the support of EII (Fizeau programme). O.A. acknowledges the support from an F.R.S.-FNRS Postdoctoral Fellowship. PIONIER was originally funded by the Poles TUNES and SMING of Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble) and subsequently supported by INSU-PNP and INSU-PNPS. The integrated optics beam combiner is the result of collaboration between IPAG and CEA-LETI based on CNES R&T funding. The authors thank all the people involved in the VLTI project. We used the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) and the “Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg” (CDS). Based on data collected at the ESO Paranal Observatory under commissioning time and programme 088.C-0266.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-2010 BLAN-0505-01
EII Fizeau programmeUNSPECIFIED
F.R.S.-FNRS Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
Programme National de Physique Stellaire (PNPS)UNSPECIFIED
Université Joseph FourierUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:instrumentation: high angular resolution; techniques: interferometric; infrared: planetary systems
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121130-094914061
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Hot circumstellar material resolved around β Pic with VLTI/PIONIER D. Defrère, J. Lebreton, J.-B. Le Bouquin, A.-M. Lagrange, O. Absil, J.-C. Augereau, J.-P. Berger, E. di Folco, S. Ertel, J. Kluska, G. Montagnier, R. Millan-Gabet, W. Traub and G. Zins A&A 546 L9 (2012) DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35746
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:30 Nov 2012 19:03
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:17

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