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Title: Dusty disk winds at the sublimation rim of the highly inclined, low mass young stellar object SU Aurigae
Context. T Tauri stars are low-mass young stars whose disks provide the setting for planet formation. Despite this, their structure is poorly understood. We present new infrared interferometric observations of the SU Aurigae circumstellar environment that offer resolution that is three times higher and a better baseline position angle coverage than previous observations. Aims. We aim to investigate the characteristics of the circumstellar material around SU Aur, constrain the disk geometry, composition and inner dust rim structure. Methods. The CHARA array offers unique opportunities for long baseline observations, with baselines up to 331 m. Using the CLIMB three-telescope combiner in the K -band allows us to measure visibilities as well as closure phase. We undertook image reconstruction for model-independent analysis, and fitted geometric models such as Gaussian and ring distributions. Additionally, the fitting of radiative transfer models constrain the physical parameters of the disk. For the first time, a dusty disk wind is introduced to the radiative transfer code TORUS to model protoplanetary disks. Our implementation is motivated by theoretical models of dusty disk winds, where magnetic field lines drive dust above the disk plane close to the sublimation zone. Results. Image reconstruction reveals an inclined disk with slight asymmetry along its minor-axis, likely due to inclination effects obscuring the inner disk rim through absorption of incident star light on the near-side and thermal re-emission and scattering of the far-side. Geometric modelling of a skewed ring finds the inner rim at 0.17 ± 0.02 au with an inclination of 50.9 ± 1.0° and minor axis position angle 60.8 ± 1.2°. Radiative transfer modelling shows a flared disk with an inner radius at 0.18 au which implies a grain size of 0.4 μ m assuming astronomical silicates and a scale height of 15.0 at 100 au. Among the tested radiative transfer models, only the dusty disk wind successfully accounts for the K -band excess by introducing dust above the mid-plane.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1745406 1715788 1636624
NSF-PAR ID:
10130994
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume:
627
ISSN:
0004-6361
Page Range / eLocation ID:
A36
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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    Aims.We aim to investigate the characteristics of the circumstellar material around SU Aur, and constrain the disk geometry, composition and inner dust rim structure.

    Methods.The MIRC-X instrument at CHARA is a six-telescope optical beam combiner offering baselines up to 331 m. We undertook image reconstruction for model-independent analysis, and fitted geometric models such as Gaussian and ring distributions. Additionally, the fitting of radiative transfer models constrained the physical parameters of the disk.

    Results.Image reconstruction reveals a highly inclined disk with a slight asymmetry consistent with inclination effects obscuring the inner disk rim through absorption of incident star light on the near side and thermal re-emission/scattering of the far side. Geometric models find that the underlying brightness distribution is best modelled as a Gaussian with a Full-Width Half-Maximum of 1.53 ± 0.01 mas at an inclination of 56.9 ± 0.4° and a minor axis position angle of 55.9 ± 0.5°. Radiative transfer modelling shows a flared disk with an inner radius at 0.16 au which implies a grain size of 0.14 μm assuming astronomical silicates and a scale height of 9.0 au at 100 au. In agreement with the literature, only the dusty disk wind successfully accounts for the near infrared excess by introducing dust above the mid-plane.

    Conclusions.Our results confirm and provide better constraints than previous inner disk studies of SU Aurigae. We confirm the presence of a dusty disk wind in the cicumstellar environment, the strength of which is enhanced by a late infall event which also causes very strong misalignments between the inner and outer disks.

     
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