Context. T Tauri stars are low-mass young stars whose disks provide the setting for planet formation. Despite this, their structure is poorly understood. We present new infrared interferometric observations of the SU Aurigae circumstellar environment that offer 3 times higher resolution and better baseline position angle coverage over previous observations. Aims. We aim to investigate the characteristics of the circumstellar material around SU Aur, constrain the disk geometry, composition and inner dust rim structure. Methods. The CHARA array offers unique opportunities for long baseline observations, with baselines up to 331 m. Using the CLIMB 3-telescope combiner in the K-band allows us to measure visibilities as well as closure phase. We undertook image reconstruction for model-independent analysis, and fitted geometric models such as Gaussian and ring distributions. Additionally, the fitting of radiative transfer models constrain the physical parameters of the disk. For the first time, a dusty disk wind is introduced to the radiative transfer code TORUS to model protoplanetary disks. Our implementation is motivated by theoretical models of dusty disk winds, where magnetic field lines drive dust above the disk plane close to the sublimation zone. Results. Image reconstruction reveals an inclined disk with slight asymmetry along its minor-axis, likely due to inclination effects obscuring the inner disk rim through absorption of incident star light on the near-side and thermal re-emission/scattering of the far-side. Geometric modelling of a skewed ring finds the inner rim at 0.17 ± 0.02 au with an inclination of 50.9 ± 1.0◦ and minor axis position angle 60.8 ± 1.2◦. Radiative transfer modelling shows a flared disk with an inner radius at 0.18 au which implies a grain size of 0.4 µm assuming astronomical silicates and a scale height of 15.0 au at 100 au. Among the tested radiative transfer models, only the dusty disk wind successfully accounts for the K-band excess by introducing dust above the mid-plane.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - May 28 2019|
- Protoplanetary disks
- Stars: individual: SU Aurigae
- Stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be
- Techniques: interferometric
ASJC Scopus subject areas