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VLTI/PIONIER survey of disks around post-AGB binaries. Dust sublimation physics rules

Abstract : Context. Post-asymptotic giant branch (AGB) binaries are surrounded by circumbinary disks of gas and dust that are similar to protoplanetary disks found around young stars.
Aims: We aim to understand the structure of these disks and identify the physical phenomena at play in their very inner regions. We want to understand the disk-binary interaction and to further investigate the comparison with protoplanetary disks.
Methods: We conducted an interferometric snapshot survey of 23 post-AGB binaries in the near-infrared (H-band) using VLTI/PIONIER. We fit the multi-wavelength visibilities and closure phases with purely geometrical models with an increasing complexity (including two point-sources, an azimuthally modulated ring, and an over-resolved flux) in order to retrieve the sizes, temperatures, and flux ratios of the different components.
Results: All sources are resolved and the different components contributing to the H-band flux are dissected. The environment of these targets is very complex: 13/23 targets need models with thirteen or more parameters to fit the data. We find that the inner disk rims follow and extend the size-luminosity relation established for disks around young stars with an offset toward larger sizes. The measured temperature of the near-infrared circumstellar emission of post-AGB binaries is lower (Tsub 1200 K) than for young stars, which is probably due to a different dust mineralogy and/or gas density in the dust sublimation region.
Conclusions: The dusty inner rims of the circumbinary disks around post-AGB binaries are ruled by dust sublimation physics. Additionally a significant amount of the circumstellar H-band flux is over-resolved (more than 10% of the non-stellar flux is over-resolved in 14 targets). This hints that a source of unknown origin, either a disk structure or outflow. The amount of over-resolved flux is larger than around young stars. Due to the complexity of these targets, interferometric imaging is a necessary tool to reveal the interacting inner regions in a model-independent way.

Full Table A.1 is available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via on VLTI observations 093.D-0573 and 094.D-0865.

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Submitted on : Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 3:20:40 PM
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J. Kluska, H. van Winckel, M. Hillen, J. -P. Berger, D. Kamath, et al.. VLTI/PIONIER survey of disks around post-AGB binaries. Dust sublimation physics rules. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2019, 631, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201935785⟩. ⟨insu-03702952⟩



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