Visible light adaptive optics imaging of the orion 218-354 silhouette disk

Katherine B. Follette, Laird M. Close, Jared R. Males, Derek Kopon, Ya Lin Wu, Katie M. Morzinski, Philip Hinz, Timothy J. Rodigas, Alfio Puglisi, Simone Esposito, Armando Riccardi, Enrico Pinna, Marco Xompero, Runa Briguglio

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


We present the first ground-based adaptive optics images of a silhouette disk. This disk, Orion 218-354, is seen in silhouette against the bright nebular background of Orion, and was resolved using the new Magellan Adaptive Secondary AO system and its VisAO camera in Simultaneous Differential Imaging (SDI) mode. PSF subtraction of Orion 218-354 reveals a disk ~1″ (400 AU) in radius, with the degree of absorption increasing steadily towards the center of the disk. By virtue of the central star being unsaturated, these data probe inward to a much smaller radius than previous HST images. Our data present a different picture than previous observers had hypothesized, namely that the disk is likely optically thin at Hα at least as far inward as ~20AU. In addition to being among the first high-resolution AO images taken in the optical on a large telescope, these data reveal the power of SDI imaging to illuminate disk structure, and speak to a bright future for visible AO imaging. Analysis of the results described briefly here can be found in full detail in Follette et al. (2013).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExploring the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9781107045200
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Publication series

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


  • Instrumentation: Adaptive Optics
  • Planetary Systems: Protoplanetary Disks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


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