Thermal infrared imaging of MWC 758 with the large binocular telescope: Planetary driven spiral arms?

Kevin Wagner, Jordan M. Stone, Eckhart Spalding, Daniel Apai, Ruobing Dong, Steve Ertel, Jarron Leisenring, Ryan Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Theoretical studies suggest that a giant planet around the young star MWC 758 could be responsible for driving the spiral features in its circumstellar disk. Here, we present a deep imaging campaign with the Large Binocular Telescope with the primary goal of imaging the predicted planet. We present images of the disk in two epochs in the L0 filter (3.8 µm) and a third epoch in the M0 filter (4.8 µm). The two prominent spiral arms are detected in each observation, which constitute the first images of the disk at M0, and the deepest yet in L0 (∆L0 =12.1 exterior to the disk at 5σ significance). We report the detection of a S/N∼3.9 source near the end of the Sourthern arm, and, from the source's detection at a consistent position and brightness during multiple epochs, we establish a ∼90% confidence-level that the source is of astrophysical origin. We discuss the possibilities that this feature may be a) an unresolved disk feature, and b) a giant planet responsible for the spiral arms, with several arguments pointing in favor of the latter scenario. We present additional detection limits on companions exterior to the spiral arms, which suggest that a.4 MJup planet exterior to the spiral arms could have escaped detection. Finally, we do not detect the companion candidate interior to the spiral arms reported recently by Reggiani et al. (2018), although forward modelling suggests that such a source would have likely been detected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jul 15 2019


  • Planet-disk interactions
  • Planets and satellites: detection
  • Planets and satellites: formation
  • Stars: pre-main sequence (MWC 758)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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