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Published May 20, 2007 | Published
Journal Article Open

High-Resolution Imaging of the Dust Disk around 49 Ceti


Subarcsecond scale Keck images of the young A1 V star, 49 Ceti, resolve emission at λ = 12.5 and 17.9 μm from a disk with long axis at position angle (P.A.) 125° ± 10° and inclination ф = 60° ± 15°. At 17.9 μm, the emission is brighter and more extended toward the northwest (NW) than the southeast (SE). Modeling of the mid-infrared images combined with flux densities from the literature indicate that the bulk of the mid-infrared emission comes from very small grains (a ~ 0.1 μm) confined between 30 and 60 AU from the star. This population of dust grains contributes negligibly to the significant excess observed in the spectral energy distribution. Most of the nonphotospheric energy is radiated at longer wavelengths by an outer disk of larger grains (a ~ 15 μm), inner radius ~60 AU, and outer radius ~900 AU. Global properties of the 49 Cet disk show more affinity with the β Pic and HR 4796A disks than with other debris disks. This may be because they are all very young (t < 20 Myr), adding strength to the argument that they are transitional objects between Herbig Ae and "Vega-like" A stars with more tenuous circumstellar disks.

Additional Information

© 2007 American Astronomical Society. Print publication: Issue 1 (2007 May 20); received 2005 November 10; accepted for publication 2007 January 11. Observations presented here were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO), 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. A great debt is due, also, to Robert Goodrich and the WMKO summit staff for their many hours of assistance in adapting MIRLIN to the Keck II visitor instrument port. The authors wish also to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain.

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August 22, 2023
October 19, 2023