High angular resolution detection of β Pictoris b at 2.18 μ m

M. Bonnefoy, A. M. Lagrange, A. Boccaletti, G. Chauvin, D. Apai, F. Allard, D. Ehrenreich, J. H.V. Girard, D. Mouillet, D. Rouan, D. Gratadour, M. Kasper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Context. A giant planet was recently discovered around the young star β Pictoris. This planet is the closest to its parent star ever imaged. With an estimated mass of about 9 MJup and separation of 8-15 AU, it explains most of the peculiarities of β Pictoris and its disk. Aims. Previous detections were made in the L′ band (3.8 μm) and at 4.05 μm. We recorded new Ks-band data (2.18 μm) in order to measure its color and get an additional estimate of its mass and effective temperature Methods. Angular differential Ks-band images of β Pictoris were recorded with NaCo in March and April 2010. Results. The companion is detected at Ks. This independently confirms the physical nature of β Pictoris b inferred from the L′ and NB-4.05 bands. The increase of the projected separation between October-December 2009 and April 2010 observations is consistent within error bars with the expected orbital motion. Using the absolute Ks photometry, "hot start" evolutionary models predict a mass of 7-11 MJup in agreement with previous estimates. Moreover, this mass is compatible with Teff = 1700 ± 300 K derived from the comparison of the Ks - L′ color with those generated using synthetic spectra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
StatePublished - 2011


  • instrumentation: adaptive optics
  • planetary systems
  • stars: early-type
  • stars: individual βPictoris

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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