High-resolution near-infrared imaging of the Orion 114-426 silhouette disk

Mark J. McCaughrean, Hua Chen, John Bally, Ed Erickson, Rodger Thompson, Marcia Rieke, Glenn Schneider, Susan Stolovy, Erick Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


We present the first high-resolution near-infrared images of the edge-on silhouette circumstellar disk, Orion 114-426, made using NICMOS on the Hubble Space Telescope. Images taken against the bright nebular background of the ionized hydrogen Paα line at 1.87 μm show the major axis of the disk to be approximately 20% smaller than at 0.6 μm, from which we deduce the structure of the edge of the disk. Continuum images of diffuse polar lobes above and below the plane of the disk show a morphology and evolution with wavelength consistent with predictions for reflection nebulae in a diffuse envelope with large polar cavities, surrounding a thin, massless, Keplerian disk, centered on an otherwise hidden central star. We make use of our observations and reasonable assumptions about the underlying disk structure to show that the disk mass is at least 10 M and plausibly ≥5 × 10-4 M.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L157-L161
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART II
StatePublished - 1998


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Circumstellar matter-infrared: ISM: continuum
  • ISM: individual (Orion Nebula)
  • Infrared: ISM: lines and bands
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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