Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 450, 181-192 (2006/4-4)
Resolving the compact dusty discs around binary post-AGB stars using N-band interferometry.
DEROO P., VAN WINCKEL H., MIN M., WATERS L.B.F.M., VERHOELST T., JAFFE W., MOREL S., PARESCE F., RICHICHI A., STEE P. and WITTKOWSKI M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the first mid-IR long baseline interferometric observations of the circumstellar matter around binary post-AGB stars. Two objects, SX Cen
and HD 52961
, were observed using the VLTI/MIDI instrument during Science Demonstration Time. Both objects are known binaries for which a stable circumbinary disc is proposed to explain the SED characteristics. This is corroborated by our N-band spectrum showing a crystallinity fraction of more than 50% for both objects, pointing to a stable environment where dust processing can occur. Surprisingly, the dust surrounding SXCen is not resolved in the interferometric observations providing an upper limit of 11mas (or 18AU at the distance of this object) on the diameter of the dust emission. This confirms the very compact nature of its circumstellar environment. The dust emission around HD52961
originates from a very small but resolved region, estimated to be ∼35mas at 8µm and ∼55mas at 13µm. These results confirm the disc interpretation of the SED of both stars. In HD52961
, the dust is not homogeneous in its chemical composition: the crystallinity is clearly concentrated in the hotter inner region. Whether this is a result of the formation process of the disc, or due to annealing during the long storage time in the disc is not clear.
stars: circumstellar matter - stars: AGB and post-AGB - stars: individual: HD52961 - stars: individual: SX Cen - techniques: interferometric - infrared: stars
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