Direct imaging of fine structures in giant planet-forming regions of the protoplanetary disk around AB Aurigae

J. Hashimoto, M. Tamura, T. Muto, T. Kudo, M. Fukagawa, T. Fukue, M. Goto, C. A. Grady, T. Henning, K. Hodapp, M. Honda, S. Inutsuka, E. Kokubo, G. Knapp, M. W. McElwain, M. Momose, N. Ohashi, Y. K. Okamoto, M. Takami, E. L. TurnerJ. Wisniewski, M. Janson, L. Abe, W. Brandner, J. Carson, S. Egner, M. Feldt, T. Golota, O. Guyon, Y. Hayano, M. Hayashi, S. Hayashi, M. Ishii, R. Kandori, N. Kusakabe, T. Matsuo, S. Mayama, S. Miyama, J. I. Morino, A. Moro-Martin, T. Nishimura, T. S. Pyo, H. Suto, R. Suzuki, N. Takato, H. Terada, C. Thalmann, D. Tomono, M. Watanabe, T. Yamada, H. Takami, T. Usuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


We report high-resolution 1.6 μm polarized intensity (PI) images of the circumstellar disk around the Herbig Ae star AB Aur at a radial distance of 22 AU (015) up to 554 AU (385), which have been obtained by the high-contrast instrument HiCIAO with the dual-beam polarimetry. We revealed complicated and asymmetrical structures in the inner part (≲140 AU) of the disk while confirming the previously reported outer (r ≳ 200 AU) spiral structure. We have imaged a double ring structure at 40 and 100 AU and a ring-like gap between the two. We found a significant discrepancy of inclination angles between two rings, which may indicate that the disk of AB Aur is warped. Furthermore, we found seven dips (the typical size is 45 AU or less) within two rings, as well as three prominent PI peaks at 40 AU. The observed structures, including a bumpy double ring, a ring-like gap, and a warped disk in the innermost regions, provide essential information for understanding the formation mechanism of recently detected wide-orbit (r > 20 AU) planets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL17
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART II
StatePublished - Mar 10 2011


  • planetary systems
  • polarization
  • protoplanetary disks
  • stars: individual (AB Aurigae)
  • stars: pre-main sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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