A deep polarimetric analysis of the debris disk HD 106906




Crotts, Katie

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HD 106906 is a young, binary stellar system, located at ~103.3 parsecs away in the Lower Centaurus Crux (LCC) group. This system is completely unique among known systems in that it contains an asymmetrical debris disk, as well as an 11 M(Jup) planet companion, at a separation of ~735 AU. Only 4 other systems are known to contain both a disk and detected planet, where HD 106906 is the only one in which the planet has apparently been ejected. Furthermore, the debris disk is nearly edge on, and extends roughly from 70 AU to >500 AU, where previous polarimetric studies with HST have shown the outer regions to have high asymmetry. The presence of a planet companion sparks questions about the origin of this asymmetry. To better understand the structure and composition of the disk, deeper data have been taken with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), which we have used to perform a deep polarimetric study of HD 106906’s asymmetrical debris disk. The data were taken in the H-band, and were supplemented with both J- and K1-band polarimetric data which have been obtained through one of GPI’s Large and Long Programs (LLP). Polarimetry is important in the study of debris disks in scattered light, as it helps us constrain their dust grain characteristics, as well as allowing us to obtain high-contrast images. Modelling the disk, along with an empirical analysis of our data, supports a disk that is asymmetrical in surface brightness and structure, as well as a disk that is highly eccentric. These results will be discussed in terms of possible sources of asymmetry, such as dynamical interaction with the planet companion HD 106906b.



debris disks, circumstellar matter, HD 106906, polarization, scattering, infrared: planetary systems, gemini planet imager, asymmetrical disk