Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013

Poster 2B023

Observational Studies of Protoplanetary Disks at Mid-Infrared Wavelengths

Li, Dan (Department of Astronomy, University of Florida)
Telesco, Charles (Department of Astronomy, University of Florida)
Wright, Christopher (School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, University of New South Wales)
Packham, Christopher (Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Texas at San Antonio))
Marinas, Naibi (Department of Astronomy, University of Florida)

We have used mid-infrared cameras on 8-to-10 m class telescopes to study the properties of young circumstellar disks. During the initial phases of this program we examined a large sample of mid-IR images of standard stars delivered by T-ReCS at Gemini South to evaluate its on-sky performance as characterized by, for example the angular resolution, the PSF shape, and the PSF temporal stability, properties that are most relevant to our high-angular resolution study of disks. With this information we developed an Interactive Data Language (IDL) package of routines optimized for reducing the data and correcting for image defects commonly seen in ground-based mid-IR data. We obtained, reduced, and analyzed mid-IR images and spectra of several Herbig Ae/Be disks (including HD 259431, MWC 1080, VV Ser) and the debris disk (β Pic), and derived their physical properties by means of radiative transfer modeling or spectroscopic decomposition and analyses. These results are highlighted here. During this study, we also helped commission CanariCam, a new mid-IR facility instrument built by the University of Florida for the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) on La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain. CanariCam is an imager with spectroscopic, polarimetric, and coronagraphic capabilities, with the dual-beam polarimetry being a unique mode introduced with CanariCam for the first time to a 10 m telescope at mid-IR wavelengths. It is well known that measurements of polarization, originating from aligned dust grains in the disks and their environments, have the potential to shed light on the morphologies of the magnetic fields in these regions, information that is critical to understanding how stars and planets form. We have obtained polarimetric data of several Herbig Ae/Be disks and YSOs, and the data reduction and analyses are in process. We present preliminary results here. This poster is based upon work supported by the NSF under grant AST-0903672 and AST-0908624 awarded to C.M.T.

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