High-resolution mid-infrared imaging of the circumstellar disks of Herbig Ae/Be stars.
MARINAS N., TELESCO C.M., FISHER R.S. and PACKHAM C.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have imaged the circumstellar environments of 17 Herbig Ae/Be stars at 12 and 18 µm using MICHELLE on Gemini North and T-ReCS on Gemini South. Our sample contained eight Group I sources, those having large rising near- to far-infrared (IR) fluxes, and nine Group II sources, those having more modest mid-IR fluxes relative to their near-IR flux (in the classification of Meeus et al.). We have resolved extended emission from all Group I sources in our target list. The majority of these sources have radially symmetric mid-IR emission extending from a radius of 10 AU to hundreds of AU. Only one of the nine Group II sources is resolved at the FWHM level, with another two Group II sources resolved at fainter levels. Models by Dullemond et al. explain the observed spectral energy distribution of Group II sources using self-shadowed cold disks. If this is the case for all the Group II sources, we do not expect to detect extended emission with this study, since the IR emission measured should arise from a region only a few AU in size, which is smaller than our resolution. The fact that we do resolve some of the Group II sources implies that their disks are not completely flat, and might represent an intermediate stage. We also find that none of the more massive (>3 M☉) Herbig Ae/Be stars in our sample belongs to Group I, which may point to a relationship between stellar mass and circumstellar dust evolution. Disks around more massive stars might evolve faster so that stars are surrounded by a more evolved flat disk by the time they become optically visible, or they might follow a different evolutionary path altogether.