The Fomalhaut debris disk seen from every angle with Interferometry

O. Absil, B. Mennesson, J. B. Le Bouquin, J. C. Augereau, R. Millan-Gabet, M. Colavita, P. Hinz, W. Liu, G. Serabyn

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


In this paper, we present the results of three different studies of the Fomalhaut debris disk with infrared interferometry. First, VLTI/AMBER measurements are used to determine the position angle of the slightly oblate rapidly rotating photosphere by means of differential phase measurements across the Br-gamma photospheric line. This measurement allows us to confirm that the debris disk is located in the equatorial plane of its host star. Second, we use VLTI/VINCI to search for resolved near-infrared emission around the stellar photosphere, which would correspond to the presence of large amounts of hot dust grains located between the sublimation radius and the habitable zone. Our observations reveal a small excess of 0.88%±0.12% in K band relative to the photospheric flux. Finally, we use the Keck Interferometer Nuller in order to derive additional constraints on the nature of the resolved infrared emission. Our observations suggest a marginal detection of a circumstellar excess at 10 μm, which we use together with the VINCI detection to model the circumstellar emission. Preliminary results from this modeling effort are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical and Infrared Interferometry II
StatePublished - 2010
EventOptical and Infrared Interferometry II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptical and Infrared Interferometry II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Circumstellar dust
  • Interferometry
  • Planetary systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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