A resolved circumstellar disk around the Herbig Ae star HD 100546 in the thermal infrared

Wilson M. Liu, Philip M. Hinz, Michael R. Meyer, Eric E. Mamajek, William F. Hoffmann, Joseph L. Hora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


We present mid-infrared nulling interferometric and direct imaging observations of the Herbig Ae star HD 100546 obtained with the Magellan I (Baade) 6.5 m telescope. The observations show resolved circumstellar emission at 10.3, 11.7, 12.5, 18.0, and 24.5 μm. Through the nulling observations (10.3, 11.7, and 12.5 μm), we detect a circumstellar disk, with an inclination of 45° ± 15° with respect to a face-on disk, a semimajor axis position angle of 150° ± 10° (east of north), and a spatial extent of about 25 AU. The direct images (18.0 and 24.5 μm) show evidence for cooler dust with a spatial extent of 30-40 AU from the star. The direct images also show evidence for an inclined disk with a similar position angle as the disk detected by nulling. This morphology is consistent with models in which a flared circumstellar disk dominates the emission. However, the similarity in relative disk size that we derive for different wavelengths suggests that the disk may have a large inner gap, possibly cleared out by the formation of a giant protoplanet. The existence of a protoplanet in the system also provides a natural explanation for the observed difference between HD 100546 and other Herbig Ae stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L111-L114
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


  • Stars: individual (HD 100546)
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence
  • Techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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