Complex Spiral Structure in the HD 100546 Transitional Disk as Revealed by GPI and MagAO

Katherine B. Follette, Julien Rameau, Ruobing Dong, Laurent Pueyo, Laird M. Close, Gaspard Duchêne, Jeffrey Fung, Clare Leonard, Bruce MacIntosh, Jared R. Males, Christian Marois, Maxwell A. Millar-Blanchaer, Katie M. Morzinski, Wyatt Mullen, Marshall Perrin, Elijah Spiro, Jason Wang, S. Mark Ammons, Vanessa P. Bailey, Travis BarmanJoanna Bulger, Jeffrey Chilcote, Tara Cotten, Robert J. De Rosa, Rene Doyon, Michael P. Fitzgerald, Stephen J. Goodsell, James R. Graham, Alexandra Z. Greenbaum, Pascale Hibon, Li Wei Hung, Patrick Ingraham, Paul Kalas, Quinn Konopacky, James E. Larkin, Jérôme Maire, Franck Marchis, Stanimir Metchev, Eric L. Nielsen, Rebecca Oppenheimer, David Palmer, Jennifer Patience, Lisa Poyneer, Abhijith Rajan, Fredrik T. Rantakyrö, Dmitry Savransky, Adam C. Schneider, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Inseok Song, Remi Soummer, Sandrine Thomas, David Vega, J. Kent Wallace, Kimberly Ward-Duong, Sloane Wiktorowicz, Schuyler Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


We present optical and near-infrared high-contrast images of the transitional disk HD 100546 taken with the Magellan Adaptive Optics system (MagAO) and the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). GPI data include both polarized intensity and total intensity imagery, and MagAO data are taken in Simultaneous Differential Imaging mode at Hα. The new GPI H-band total intensity data represent a significant enhancement in sensitivity and field rotation compared to previous data sets and enable a detailed exploration of substructure in the disk. The data are processed with a variety of differential imaging techniques (polarized, angular, reference, and simultaneous differential imaging) in an attempt to identify the disk structures that are most consistent across wavelengths, processing techniques, and algorithmic parameters. The inner disk cavity at 15 au is clearly resolved in multiple data sets, as are a variety of spiral features. While the cavity and spiral structures are identified at levels significantly distinct from the neighboring regions of the disk under several algorithms and with a range of algorithmic parameters, emission at the location of HD 100546 "c" varies from point-like under aggressive algorithmic parameters to a smooth continuous structure with conservative parameters, and is consistent with disk emission. Features identified in the HD 100546 disk bear qualitative similarity to computational models of a moderately inclined two-armed spiral disk, where projection effects and wrapping of the spiral arms around the star result in a number of truncated spiral features in forward-modeled images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number264
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • instrumentation: adaptive optics
  • planet-disk interaction
  • protoplanetary disk
  • stars: individual (HD 100546)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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