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The Inner Disk of RY Tau: Evidence of Stellar Occultation by the Disk Atmosphere at the Sublimation Rim from K-band Continuum Interferometry

Abstract : We present models of the inner region of the circumstellar disk of RY Tau that aim to explain our near-infrared (K-band: 2.1 μm) interferometric observations, while remaining consistent with the optical to near-infrared portions of the spectral energy distribution. Our submilliarcsecond-resolution CHARA Array observations are supplemented with shorter baseline, archival data from PTI, KI, and VLTI/GRAVITY and modeled using an axisymmetric Monte Carlo radiative transfer code. The K-band visibilities are well fit by models incorporating a central star illuminating a disk with an inner edge shaped by dust sublimation at 0.210 ± 0.005 au, assuming a viewing geometry adopted from millimeter interferometry (65° inclined with a disk major axis position angle of 23°). This sublimation radius is consistent with that expected of silicate grains with a maximum size of 0.36-0.40 μm contributing to the opacity, and is an order of magnitude further from the star than the theoretical magnetospheric truncation radius. The visibilities on the longest baselines probed by CHARA indicate that we lack a clear line of sight to the stellar photosphere. Instead, our analysis shows that the central star is occulted by the disk surface layers close to the sublimation rim. While we do not see direct evidence of temporal variability in our multiepoch CHARA observations, we suggest the aperiodic photometric variability of RY Tau is likely related temporal and/or azimuthal variations in the structure of the disk surface layers.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03705198
Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, June 27, 2022 - 8:35:42 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 3:09:32 AM

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Claire L. Davies, Stefan Kraus, Tim J. Harries, John D. Monnier, Brian Kloppenborg, et al.. The Inner Disk of RY Tau: Evidence of Stellar Occultation by the Disk Atmosphere at the Sublimation Rim from K-band Continuum Interferometry. The Astrophysical Journal, 2020, 897, ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/ab93c1⟩. ⟨insu-03705198⟩

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