Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 473, L29-32 (2007/10-3)
A silicate disk in the heart of the Ant.
CHESNEAU O., LYKOU F., BALICK B., LAGADEC E., MATSUURA M., SMITH N., SPANG A., WOLF S. and ZIJLSTRA A.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We aim at getting high spatial resolution information on the dusty core of bipolar planetary nebulae to directly constrain the shaping process. We present observations of the dusty core of the extreme bipolar planetary nebula Menzel3 (Mz3, Hen 2-154, the Ant) taken with the mid-infrared interferometer MIDI/VLTI and the adaptive optics NACO/VLT. The core of Mz3 is clearly resolved with MIDI in the interferometric mode, whereas it is unresolved from the Ks to the N bands with single dish 8.2m observations on a scale ranging from 60 to 250 mas. A striking dependence of the dust core size with the PA angle of the baselines is observed, that is highly suggestive of an edge-on disk whose major axis is perpendicular to the axis of the bipolar lobes. The MIDI spectrum and the visibilities of Mz3 exhibit a clear signature of amorphous silicate, in contrast to the signatures of crystalline silicates detected in binary post-AGB systems, suggesting that the disk might be relatively young. We used radiative-transfer Monte Carlo simulations of a passive disk to constrain its geometrical and physical parameters. Its inclination (74°±3°) and position angle (5°±5°) are in accordance with the values derived from the study of the lobes. The inner radius is 9±1AU and the disk is relatively flat. The dust mass stored in the disk, estimated as 1x10–5M☉, represents only a small fraction of the dust mass found in the lobes and might be a kind of relic of an essentially polar ejection process.
planetary nebulae: individual: Mz3 - techniques: interferometric - techniques: high angular resolution - stars: circumstellar matter - stars: mass-loss
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