A Deep Polarimetric Study of the Asymmetrical Debris Disk HD 106906

Katie A. Crotts, Brenda C. Matthews, Thomas M. Esposito, Gaspard Duch ne, Paul Kalas, Christine H. Chen, Pauline Arriaga, Maxwell A. Millar-Blanchaer, John H. Debes, Zachary H. Draper, Michael P. Fitzgerald, Justin Hom, Meredith A. Macgregor, Johan Mazoyer, Jennifer Patience, Malena Rice, Alycia J. Weinberger, David J. Wilner, Schuyler Wolff

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10 Scopus citations


Located in the Lower Centaurus Crux group, HD 106906 is a young, binary stellar system. This system is unique among discovered systems in that it contains an asymmetrical debris disk, as well as an 11 M Jup planet companion, at a separation of ∼735 au. Only a handful of other systems are known to contain both a disk and a directly imaged planet, where HD 106906 is the only one in which the planet has apparently been scattered. The debris disk is nearly edge-on and extends to roughly >500 au, where previous studies with the Hubble Space Telescope have shown the outer regions to have high asymmetry. To better understand the structure and composition of the disk, we have performed a deep polarimetric study of HD 106906's asymmetrical debris disk using newly obtained H-, J-, and K1-band polarimetric data from the Gemini Planet Imager. An empirical analysis of our data supports a disk that is asymmetrical in surface brightness and structure, where fitting an inclined ring model to the disk spine suggests that the disk may be highly eccentric (e ⪆ 0.16). A comparison of the disk flux with the stellar flux in each band suggests a blue color that also does not significantly vary across the disk. We discuss these results in terms of possible sources of asymmetry, where we find that dynamical interaction with the planet companion, HD 106906b, is a likely candidate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number58
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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