Multi-epoch Near-infrared Interferometry of the Spatially Resolved Disk around the Be Star Tau

G. H. Schaefer, D. R. Gies, J. D. Monnier, N. D. Richardson, Y. Touhami, M. Zhao, X. Che, E. Pedretti, N. Thureau, T. ten Brummelaar, H. A. McAlister, S. T. Ridgway, J. Sturmann, L. Sturmann, N. H. Turner, C. D. Farrington, P. J. Goldfinger

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Abstract

We present interferometric observations of the Be star ¿ Tau obtained using the MIRC beam combiner at the CHARA Array. We resolved the disk during four epochs in 2007-2009. We fit the data with a geometric model to characterize the circumstellar disk as a skewed elliptical Gaussian and the central Be star as a uniform disk. The visibilities reveal a nearly edge-on disk with an FWHM major axis of ~1.8 mas in the H band. The non-zero closure phases indicate an asymmetry within the disk. Interestingly, when combining our results with previously published interferometric observations of ¿ Tau, we find a correlation between the position angle of the disk and the spectroscopic V/R ratio, suggesting that the tilt of the disk is precessing. This work is part of a multi-year monitoring campaign to investigate the development and outward motion of asymmetric structures in the disks of Be stars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1838-1849
JournalThe Astronomical Journal
Volume140
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

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Schaefer, G. H., Gies, D. R., Monnier, J. D., Richardson, N. D., Touhami, Y., Zhao, M., ... Goldfinger, P. J. (2010). Multi-epoch Near-infrared Interferometry of the Spatially Resolved Disk around the Be Star Tau. The Astronomical Journal, 140(6), 1838-1849.