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Published January 2017 | Published
Journal Article Open

Characterization of the Inner Disk around HD 141569 A from Keck/NIRC2 L-Band Vortex Coronagraphy


HD 141569 A is a pre-main sequence B9.5 Ve star surrounded by a prominent and complex circumstellar disk, likely still in a transition stage from protoplanetary to debris disk phase. Here, we present a new image of the third inner disk component of HD 141569 A made in the L' band (3.8 μm) during the commissioning of the vector vortex coronagraph that has recently been installed in the near-infrared imager and spectrograph NIRC2 behind the W.M. Keck Observatory Keck II adaptive optics system. We used reference point-spread function subtraction, which reveals the innermost disk component from the inner working distance of sime23 au and up to ≃70 au. The spatial scale of our detection roughly corresponds to the optical and near-infrared scattered light, thermal Q, N, and 8.6 μm PAH emission reported earlier. We also see an outward progression in dust location from the L' band to the H band (Very Large Telescope/SPHERE image) to the visible (Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/STIS image), which is likely indicative of dust blowout. The warm disk component is nested deep inside the two outer belts imaged by HST-NICMOS in 1999 (at 406 and 245 au, respectively). We fit our new L'-band image and spectral energy distribution of HD 141569 A with the radiative transfer code MCFOST. Our best-fit models favor pure olivine grains and are consistent with the composition of the outer belts. While our image shows a putative very faint point-like clump or source embedded in the inner disk, we did not detect any true companion within the gap between the inner disk and the first outer ring, at a sensitivity of a few Jupiter masses.

Additional Information

© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 September 22; revised 2016 October 31; accepted 2016 November 16; published 2017 January 4. Based on observations made at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation. We would like to acknowledge J.-C. Augereau for the development and the sharing of the GRaTer disk modeling tool. Support for this work was provided by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant #HST-HF2-51355.001-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS5-26555. Facilities: W.M. Keck Observatory - , Keck II - . Software: GRaTer (Augereau et al. 1999; Lebreton et al. 2012), MCFOST (Pinte et al. 2006, 2009).

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