HST imaging of new Edge-on circumstellar disks in nearby star-forming regions

K. R. Stapelfeldt, G. Duchêne, M. Perrin, S. Wolff, J. E. Krist, D. L. Padgett, F. Ménard, C. Pinte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Edge-on, optically thick circumstellar disks have been previously imaged at subarcsecond resolution around about a dozen nearby young stellar objects. In these systems the central star is occulted from direct view, bright star image artifacts are absent, and the disk reflected light is clearly seen. Comparison of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) edge-on disk images with scattered light models has allowed key disk structural parameters and dust grain properties to be determined. Edge-on disks have been systematically undercounted to date: while 10% of young stars should statistically be occulted by their disk, the observed frequency is much less. Thus there is a significant potential for discovering and imaging new examples. Spitzer Space Telescope legacy science programs have provided the first good spectral energy distribution (SED) measurements for the previously known edge-on disks. These can be used as templates to identify new candidates in far-infrared survey datasets. We report on the results of our HST program to image twenty-one edge-on disk candidates mostly selected from their SEDs. Eleven are well-resolved with radii ranging from 30-400 AU, nine for the first time and six showing highly collimated jets. Outstanding individual sources include a large and symmetric new template object, a highly flattened disk not accreting onto its central star, and an asymmetric disk with a misaligned jet which likely traces tidal perturbations in a binary system. Follow-up work to obtain ancillary data and perform scattered light modeling of the most symmetric disks is now being pursued. The results of this program will guide a new round of searches for these rare but important snapshots of protoplanetary disk evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExploring the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781107045200
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221


  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Stars: pre-main sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'HST imaging of new Edge-on circumstellar disks in nearby star-forming regions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this