The Orbit of the Companion to HD 100453A: Binary-driven Spiral Arms in a Protoplanetary Disk

Kevin Wagner, Ruobing Dong, Patrick Sheehan, Dániel Apai, Markus Kasper, Melissa McClure, Katie M. Morzinski, Laird Close, Jared Males, Phil Hinz, Sascha P. Quanz, Jeffrey Fung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


HD 100453AB is a 10 ±2 Myr old binary whose protoplanetary disk was recently revealed to host a global two-armed spiral structure. Given the relatively small projected separation of the binary (1.″05, or ∼108 au), gravitational perturbations by the binary seemed to be a likely driving force behind the formation of the spiral arms. However, the orbit of these stars remained poorly understood, which prevented a proper treatment of the dynamical influence of the companion on the disk. We observed HD 100453AB between 2015 and 2017, utilizing extreme adaptive optics systems on the Very Large Telescope and the Magellan Clay Telescope. We combined the astrometry from these observations with published data to constrain the parameters of the binary's orbit to a = 1.″06 ±0.″09, e =0.17±0.07, and i = 32.°5 ± 6.°5. We utilized publicly available ALMA 12CO data to constrain the inclination of the disk, idisk ∼ 28°, which is relatively coplanar with the orbit of the companion and consistent with previous estimates from scattered light images. Finally, we input these constraints into hydrodynamic and radiative transfer simulations to model the structural evolution of the disk. We find that the spiral structure and truncation of the circumprimary disk in HD 100453 are consistent with a companion-driven origin. Furthermore, we find that the primary star's rotation, its outer disk, and the companion exhibit roughly the same direction of angular momentum, and thus the system likely formed from the same parent body of material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2018


  • binaries: visual
  • planet-disk interactions
  • protoplanetary disks
  • stars: individual (HD 100453)
  • techniques: high angular resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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