AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 127 Circumstellar Disks and the Origin of the Solar System
Oral, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Golden Ballroom

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[127.01] A Unique Edge-on Circumstellar Disk around a Herbig Ae Star

M. D. Perrin, J. R. Graham, P. Kalas, M. Fitzgerald (UC Berkeley)

We have discovered an edge-on circumstellar disk around the northern star of the Herbig Ae binary PDS 144. This is the first known intermediate-mass counterpart to the T Tauri systems HK Tau and HV Tau, where one star in each is obscured by an edge-on disk. Both members of PDS 144 were recently identified as Herbig Ae stars by the Pico dos Dias survey (Vieira et al 2003); we initially observed PDS 144 as part of an ongoing adaptive optics polarimetry survey of Herbig Ae/Be stars at Lick Observatory. We present near-infrared Lick adaptive optics polarimetry and Keck adaptive optics imaging, and mid-infrared Keck imaging of the disk around PDS 144N. The disk is 0.85 arcsec across (120 AU, assuming d=140 pc) and has an inclination of ~84 degrees to the line of sight. An optically thick dark lane with average height 0.15 arcsec (21 AU) completely obscures the central star at all wavelengths from 1.2 to 11.7 microns. The scattered light nebulosity above and below the disk flares vertically at larger radii, resembling a wingnut. PDS 144N is the only Herbig Ae/Be star known to display such an unambiguous edge-on disk. It thus provides a unique opportunity to test models developed for disks around T Tauri stars against the more massive, and much less well understood, Herbig Ae/Be stars.

This research has been supported by the NSF Center for Adaptive Optics and NASA Michelson Fellowship program.

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