Revealing the structure of a pre-transitional disk: The case of the herbig F star SAO 206462 (HD 135344B)

C. A. Grady, G. Schneider, M. L. Sitko, G. M. Williger, K. Hamaguchi, S. D. Brittain, K. Ablordeppey, D. Apai, L. Beerman, W. J. Carpenter, K. A. Collins, M. Fukagawa, H. B. Hammel, Th Henning, D. Hines, R. Kimes, D. K. Lynch, F. Ménard, R. Pearson, R. W. RussellM. Silverstone, P. S. Smith, M. Troutman, D. Wilner, B. Woodgate, M. Clampin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


SAO 206462 (HD 135344B) has previously been identified as a Herbig F star with a circumstellar disk with a dip in its infrared excess near 10 μm. In combination with a low accretion rate estimated from Br γ, it may represent a gapped, but otherwise primordial or "pre-transitional" disk. We test this hypothesis with Hubble Space Telescope coronagraphic imagery, FUV spectroscopy and imagery and archival X-ray data, and spectral energy distribution (SED) modeling constrained by the observed system inclination, disk outer radius, and outer disk radial surface brightness (SB) profile using the Whitney Monte Carlo Radiative Transfer Code. The essentially face-on (i ≲ 20°) disk is detected in scattered light from 04 to 115 (56-160 AU), with a steep (r -9.6) radial SB profile from 06 to 093. Fitting the SB data requires a concave upward or anti-flared outer disk, indicating substantial dust grain growth and settling by 8 4 Myr. The warm dust component is significantly variable in near to mid-IR excess and in temperature. At its warmest, it appears confined to a narrow belt from 0.08 to 0.2 AU. The steep SED for this dust component is consistent with grains with a≤ 2.5 μm. For cosmic carbon to silicate dust composition, conspicuous 10 μm silicate emission would be expected and is not observed. This may indicate an elevated carbon to silicate ratio for the warm dust, which is not required to fit the outer disk. At its coolest, the warm dust can be fit with a disk from 0.14 to 0.31 AU, but with a higher inclination than either the outer disk or the gaseous disk, providing confirmation of the high inclination inferred from mid-IR interferometry. In tandem, the compositional and inclination difference between the warm dust and the outer dust disk suggests that the warm dust may be of second-generation origin, rather than a remnant of a primordial disk component. With its near face-on inclination, SAO 206462's disk is a prime location for planet searches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1822-1842
Number of pages21
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Planetary systems: protoplanetary disks
  • Stars: individual (SAO 206462)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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