First Scattered-light Images of the Gas-rich Debris Disk around 49 Ceti

Elodie Choquet, Julien Milli, Zahed Wahhaj, Rémi Soummer, Aki Roberge, Jean Charles Augereau, Mark Booth, Olivier Absil, Anthony Boccaletti, Christine H. Chen, John H. Debes, Carlos Del Burgo, William R.F. Dent, Steve Ertel, Julien H. Girard, Elena Gofas-Salas, David A. Golimowski, Carlos A.Gómez González, J. Brendan Hagan, Pascale HibonDean C. Hines, Grant M. Kennedy, Anne Marie Lagrange, Luca Matrà, Dimitri Mawet, David Mouillet, Mamadou N'Diaye, Marshall D. Perrin, Christophe Pinte, Laurent Pueyo, Abhijith Rajan, Glenn Schneider, Schuyler Wolff, Mark Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We present the first scattered-light images of the debris disk around 49 Ceti, a ∼40 Myr A1 main-sequence star at 59 pc, famous for hosting two massive dust belts as well as large quantities of atomic and molecular gas. The outer disk is revealed in reprocessed archival Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS-F110W images, as well as new coronagraphic H-band images from the Very Large Telescope SPHERE instrument. The disk extends from 1.″1 (65 au) to 4.″6 (250 au) and is seen at an inclination of 73°, which refines previous measurements at lower angular resolution. We also report no companion detection larger than 3 M Jup at projected separations beyond 20 au from the star (0.″34). Comparison between the F110W and H-band images is consistent with a gray color of 49 Ceti's dust, indicating grains larger than 2 μm. Our photometric measurements indicate a scattering efficiency/infrared excess ratio of 0.2-0.4, relatively low compared to other characterized debris disks. We find that 49 Ceti presents morphological and scattering properties very similar to the gas-rich HD 131835 system. From our constraint on the disk inclination we find that the atomic gas previously detected in absorption must extend to the inner disk, and that the latter must be depleted of CO gas. Building on previous studies, we propose a schematic view of the system describing the dust and gas structure around 49 Ceti and hypothetical scenarios for the gas nature and origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL12
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2017


  • circumstellar matter
  • stars: individual (49 Ceti)
  • techniques: image processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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