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Title: PEERING INTO THE GIANT-PLANET-FORMING REGION OF THE TW HYDRAE DISK WITH THE GEMINI PLANET IMAGER

We present Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) adaptive optics near-infrared images of the giant-planet-forming regions of the protoplanetary disk orbiting the nearby (D = 54 pc), pre-main-sequence (classical T Tauri) star TW Hydrae. The GPI images, which were obtained in coronagraphic/polarimetric mode, exploit starlight scattered off small dust grains to elucidate the surface density structure of the TW Hya disk from ∼80 AU to within ∼10 AU of the star at ∼1.5 AU resolution. The GPI polarized intensity images unambiguously confirm the presence of a gap in the radial surface brightness distribution of the inner disk. The gap is centered near ∼23 AU, with a width of ∼5 AU and a depth of ∼50%. In the context of recent simulations of giant-planet formation in gaseous, dusty disks orbiting pre-main-sequence stars, these results indicate that at least one young planet with a mass ∼0.2 M{sub J} could be present in the TW Hya disk at an orbital semimajor axis similar to that of Uranus. If this (proto)planet is actively accreting gas from the disk, it may be readily detectable by GPI or a similarly sensitive, high-resolution infrared imaging system.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. School of Physics and Astronomy and Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5603 (United States)
  2. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada)
  3. Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518652
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 815; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BRIGHTNESS; DENSITY; IMAGES; MAIN SEQUENCE STARS; MASS; NEAR INFRARED RADIATION; OPTICS; POLARIZATION; PROTOPLANETS; RESOLUTION; STAR ACCRETION; T TAURI STARS; URANUS PLANET