Astrophys. J., 682, 548-558 (2008/July-3)
The HD 163296 circumstellar disk in scattered light: evidence of time-variable self-shadowing.
WISNIEWSKI J.P., CLAMPIN M., GRADY C.A., ARDILA D.R., FORD H.C., GOLIMOWSKI D.A., ILLINGWORTH G.D. and KRIST J.E.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the first multicolor view of the scattered light disk of the Herbig Ae star HD 163296, based on coronagraphic observations from the Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys (HST ACS). Radial profile fits of the surface brightness along the disk's semimajor axis indicate that the disk is not continuously flared, and extends to ∼540 AU. The disk's color (V-I)=1.1 at a radial distance of 3.5" is redder than the observed stellar color (V-I)=0.15. This red disk color might be indicative of either an evolution in the grain size distribution (i.e., grain growth) and/or composition, both of which would be consistent with the observed nonflared geometry of the outer disk. We also identify a single ansa morphological structure in our F435W ACS data, which is absent from earlier epoch F606W and F814W ACS data, but corresponds to one of the two ansae observed in archival HST Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) coronagraphic data. Following transformation to similar bandpasses, we find that the scattered light disk of HD 163296 is 1 mag/arcsec2 fainter at 3.5" in the STIS data than in the ACS data. Moreover, variations are seen in (1) the visibility of the ansa(e) structures, (2) the relative surface brightness of the ansa(e) structures, and (3) the (known) intrinsic polarization of the system. These results indicate that the scattered light from the HD 163296 disk is variable. We speculate that the inner disk wall, which Sitko et al. suggests has a variable scale height as diagnosed by near-IR SED variability, induces variable self-shadowing of the outer disk. We further speculate that the observed surface brightness variability of the ansa(e) structures may indicate that the inner disk wall is azimuthally asymmetric.
Stars: Circumstellar Matter - Stars: Planetary Systems: Formation - Stars: Planetary Systems: Protoplanetary Disks - Stars: Individual: Henry Draper Number: HD 163296
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