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Published June 2021 | Published
Journal Article Open

An HST/STIS view of protoplanetary discs in Upper Scorpius: observations of three young M stars


We present observations of three protoplanetary discs in visible scattered light around M-type stars in the Upper Scorpius OB association using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The discs around stars 2MASS J16090075–1908526, 2MASS J16142029–1906481, and 2MASS J16123916–1859284 have all been previously detected with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and 2MASS J16123916–1859284 has never previously been imaged at scattered light wavelengths. We process our images using reference star differential imaging, comparing and contrasting three reduction techniques – classical subtraction, Karhunen–Loève Image Projection, and non-negative matrix factorization, selecting the classical method as the most reliable of the three for our observations. Of the three discs, two are tentatively detected (2MASS J16142029–1906481 and 2MASS J16123916–1859284), with the third going undetected. Our two detections are shown to be consistent when varying the reference star or reduction method used, and both detections exhibit structure out to projected distances of ≳200 au. Structures at these distances from the host star have never been previously detected at any wavelength for either disc, illustrating the utility of visible-wavelength observations in probing the distribution of small dust grains at large angular separations.

Additional Information

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Accepted 2021 April 13. Received 2021 April 8; in original form 2020 December 11. Published: 17 April 2021. We thank John H. Debes for providing the algorithmic mask in Debes et al. (2017). This research has made extensive use of NUMPY (Harris et al. 2020), SCIPY (Virtanen et al. 2020), and MATPLOTLIB (Hunter 2007). The results of this paper are based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. We thank support from GO 15176 and GO 15497 provided by NASA through a grant from STScI under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. JC acknowledges support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant no. 15XRP15_20140 issued through the Exoplanets Research Program. Data Availability: The data underlying this paper are available in their raw form via the HST MAST archive under programs GO 15176 and GO 15497. Processed data are available from the author on request.

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August 22, 2023
October 24, 2023