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See detailOngoing flyby in the young multiple system UX Tauri
Ménard, F.; Cuello, N.; Ginski, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 639

We present observations of the young multiple system UX Tauri to look for circumstellar disks and for signs of dynamical interactions. We obtained SPHERE/IRDIS deep differential polarization images in the ... [more ▼]

We present observations of the young multiple system UX Tauri to look for circumstellar disks and for signs of dynamical interactions. We obtained SPHERE/IRDIS deep differential polarization images in the J and H bands. We also used ALMA archival CO data. Large extended spirals are well detected in scattered light coming out of the disk of UX Tau A. The southern spiral forms a bridge between UX Tau A and C. These spirals, including the bridge connecting the two stars, all have a CO (3-2) counterpart seen by ALMA. The disk of UX Tau C is detected in scattered light. It is much smaller than the disk of UX Tau A and has a major axis along a different position angle, suggesting a misalignment. We performed PHANTOM SPH hydrodynamical models to interpret the data. The scattered light spirals, CO emission spirals and velocity patterns of the rotating disks, and the compactness of the disk of UX Tau C all point to a scenario in which UX Tau A has been perturbed very recently (∼1000 years) by the close passage of UX Tau C. <P />Movies associated to Fig. 3 are available at <A href="https://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6 361/202038356/olm">http://https://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailSPHERE+: Imaging young Jupiters down to the snowline
Boccaletti, A.; Chauvin, G.; Mouillet, D. et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

SPHERE (Beuzit et al,. 2019) has now been in operation at the VLT for more than 5 years, demonstrating a high level of performance. SPHERE has produced outstanding results using a variety of operating ... [more ▼]

SPHERE (Beuzit et al,. 2019) has now been in operation at the VLT for more than 5 years, demonstrating a high level of performance. SPHERE has produced outstanding results using a variety of operating modes, primarily in the field of direct imaging of exoplanetary systems, focusing on exoplanets as point sources and circumstellar disks as extended objects. The achievements obtained thus far with SPHERE (~200 refereed publications) in different areas (exoplanets, disks, solar system, stellar physics...) have motivated a large consortium to propose an even more ambitious set of science cases, and its corresponding technical implementation in the form of an upgrade. The SPHERE+ project capitalizes on the expertise and lessons learned from SPHERE to push high contrast imaging performance to its limits on the VLT 8m-telescope. The scientific program of SPHERE+ described in this document will open a new and compelling scientific window for the upcoming decade in strong synergy with ground-based facilities (VLT/I, ELT, ALMA, and SKA) and space missions (Gaia, JWST, PLATO and WFIRST). While SPHERE has sampled the outer parts of planetary systems beyond a few tens of AU, SPHERE+ will dig into the inner regions around stars to reveal and characterize by mean of spectroscopy the giant planet population down to the snow line. Building on SPHERE's scientific heritage and resounding success, SPHERE+ will be a dedicated survey instrument which will strengthen the leadership of ESO and the European community in the very competitive field of direct imaging of exoplanetary systems. With enhanced capabilities, it will enable an even broader diversity of science cases including the study of the solar system, the birth and death of stars and the exploration of the inner regions of active galactic nuclei. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a planetary-mass companion within the gap of the transition disk around PDS 70
Keppler, M.; Benisty, M.; Müller, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 617

Context. Young circumstellar disks are the birthplaces of planets. Their study is of prime interest to understand the physical and chemical conditions under which planet formation takes place. Only very ... [more ▼]

Context. Young circumstellar disks are the birthplaces of planets. Their study is of prime interest to understand the physical and chemical conditions under which planet formation takes place. Only very few detections of planet candidates within these disks exist, and most of them are currently suspected to be disk features. <BR /> Aims: In this context, the transition disk around the young star PDS 70 is of particular interest, due to its large gap identified in previous observations, indicative of ongoing planet formation. We aim to search for the presence of an embedded young planet and search for disk structures that may be the result of disk-planet interactions and other evolutionary processes. <BR /> Methods: We analyse new and archival near-infrared images of the transition disk PDS 70 obtained with the VLT/SPHERE, VLT/NaCo, and Gemini/NICI instruments in polarimetric differential imaging and angular differential imaging modes. <BR /> Results: We detect a point source within the gap of the disk at about 195 mas ( 22 au) projected separation. The detection is confirmed at five different epochs, in three filter bands and using different instruments. The astrometry results in an object of bound nature, with high significance. The comparison of the measured magnitudes and colours to evolutionary tracks suggests that the detection is a companion of planetary mass. The luminosity of the detected object is consistent with that of an L-type dwarf, but its IR colours are redder, possibly indicating the presence of warm surrounding material. Further, we confirm the detection of a large gap of 54 au in size within the disk in our scattered light images, and detect a signal from an inner disk component. We find that its spatial extent is very likely smaller than 17 au in radius, and its position angle is consistent with that of the outer disk. The images of the outer disk show evidence of a complex azimuthal brightness distribution which is different at different wavelengths and may in part be explained by Rayleigh scattering from very small grains. <BR /> Conclusions: The detection of a young protoplanet within the gap of the transition disk around PDS 70 opens the door to a so far observationally unexplored parameter space of planetary formation and evolution. Future observations of this system at different wavelengths and continuing astrometry will allow us to test theoretical predictions regarding planet-disk interactions, planetary atmospheres, and evolutionary models. <P />Based on observations performed with ESO Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under programmes 095.C-0298, 095.C-0404, 096.C-0333, 097.C-0206, 097.C-1001, and 099.C-0891.The reduced images and datacubes are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/617/A44">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/617/A44</A> [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of the inner structures around HD 169142 with VLT/SPHERE
Ligi, R.; Vigan, A.; Gratton, R. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018), 473

We present observations of the Herbig Ae star HD 169142 with the VLT/SPHERE instruments InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) (K1K2 and H2H3 bands) and the Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS ... [more ▼]

We present observations of the Herbig Ae star HD 169142 with the VLT/SPHERE instruments InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) (K1K2 and H2H3 bands) and the Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS) (Y, J and H bands). We detect several bright blobs at ̃180 mas separation from the star, and a faint arc-like structure in the IFS data. Our reference differential imaging (RDI) data analysis also finds a bright ring at the same separation. We show, using a simulation based on polarized light data, that these blobs are actually part of the ring at 180 mas. These results demonstrate that the earlier detections of blobs in the H and K[SUB]S[/SUB] bands at these separations in Biller et al. as potential planet/substellar companions are actually tracing a bright ring with a Keplerian motion. Moreover, we detect in the images an additional bright structure at ̃93 mas separation and position angle of 355°, at a location very close to previous detections. It appears point-like in the YJ and K bands but is more extended in the H band. We also marginally detect an inner ring in the RDI data at ̃100 mas. Follow-up observations are necessary to confirm the detection and the nature of this source and structure. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Circumstellar Disk HD 169142: Gas, Dust, and Planets Acting in Concert?
Pohl, A.; Benisty, M.; Pinilla, P. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2017), 850

HD 169142 is an excellent target for investigating signs of planet-disk interaction due to previous evidence of gap structures. We perform J-band (̃1.2 μm) polarized intensity imaging of HD 169142 with ... [more ▼]

HD 169142 is an excellent target for investigating signs of planet-disk interaction due to previous evidence of gap structures. We perform J-band (̃1.2 μm) polarized intensity imaging of HD 169142 with VLT/SPHERE. We observe polarized scattered light down to 0.″16 (̃19 au) and find an inner gap with a significantly reduced scattered-light flux. We confirm the previously detected double-ring structure peaking at 0.″18 (̃21 au) and 0.″56 (̃66 au) and marginally detect a faint third gap at 0.″70-0.″73 (̃82-85 au). We explore dust evolution models in a disk perturbed by two giant planets, as well as models with a parameterized dust size distribution. The dust evolution model is able to reproduce the ring locations and gap widths in polarized intensity but fails to reproduce their depths. However, it gives a good match with the ALMA dust continuum image at 1.3 mm. Models with a parameterized dust size distribution better reproduce the gap depth in scattered light, suggesting that dust filtration at the outer edges of the gaps is less effective. The pileup of millimeter grains in a dust trap and the continuous distribution of small grains throughout the gap likely require more efficient dust fragmentation and dust diffusion in the dust trap. Alternatively, turbulence or charging effects might lead to a reservoir of small grains at the surface layer that is not affected by the dust growth and fragmentation cycle dominating the dense disk midplane. The exploration of models shows that extracting planet properties such as mass from observed gap profiles is highly degenerate. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO program 095.C-0273. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect detection of scattered light gaps in the transitional disk around HD 97048 with VLT/SPHERE
Ginski, C.; Stolker, T.; Pinilla, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

<BR /> Aims: We studied the well-known circumstellar disk around the Herbig Ae/Be star HD 97048 with high angular resolution to reveal undetected structures in the disk which may be indicative of disk ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We studied the well-known circumstellar disk around the Herbig Ae/Be star HD 97048 with high angular resolution to reveal undetected structures in the disk which may be indicative of disk evolutionary processes such as planet formation. <BR /> Methods: We used the IRDIS near-IR subsystem of the extreme adaptive optics imager SPHERE at the ESO/VLT to study the scattered light from the circumstellar disk via high resolution polarimetry and angular differential imaging. <BR /> Results: We imaged the disk in unprecedented detail and revealed four ring-like brightness enhancements and corresponding gaps in the scattered light from the disk surface with radii between 39 au and 341 au. We derived the inclination and position angle as well as the height of the scattering surface of the disk from our observational data. We found that the surface height profile can be described by a single power law up to a separation 270 au. Using the surface height profile we measured the scattering phase function of the disk and found that it is consistent with theoretical models of compact dust aggregates. We discuss the origin of the detected features and find that low mass (≤1 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) nascent planets are a possible explanation. <P />Based on data collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO Programs 096.C-0248, 096.C-0241, 077.C-0106). [less ▲]

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See detailMultiple rings in the transition disk and companion candidates around RX J1615.3-3255. High contrast imaging with VLT/SPHERE
de Boer, J.; Salter, G.; Benisty, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

Context. The effects of a planet sculpting the disk from which it formed are most likely to be found in disks that are in transition between being classical protoplanetary and debris disks. Recent direct ... [more ▼]

Context. The effects of a planet sculpting the disk from which it formed are most likely to be found in disks that are in transition between being classical protoplanetary and debris disks. Recent direct imaging of transition disks has revealed structures such as dust rings, gaps, and spiral arms, but an unambiguous link between these structures and sculpting planets is yet to be found. <BR /> Aims: We aim to find signs of ongoing planet-disk interaction and study the distribution of small grains at the surface of the transition disk around RX J1615.3-3255 (RX J1615). <BR /> Methods: We observed RX J1615 with VLT/SPHERE. From these observations, we obtained polarimetric imaging with ZIMPOL (R'-band) and IRDIS (J), and IRDIS (H2H3) dual-band imaging with simultaneous spatially resolved spectra with the IFS (YJ). <BR /> Results: We image the disk for the first time in scattered light and detect two arcs, two rings, a gap and an inner disk with marginal evidence for an inner cavity. The shapes of the arcs suggest that they are probably segments of full rings. Ellipse fitting for the two rings and inner disk yield a disk inclination I = 47 ± 2° and find semi-major axes of 1.50 ± 0.01'' (278 au), 1.06 ± 0.01'' (196 au) and 0.30 ± 0.01'' (56 au), respectively. We determine the scattering surface height above the midplane, based on the projected ring center offsets. Nine point sources are detected between 2.1'' and 8.0'' separation and considered as companion candidates. With NACO data we recover four of the nine point sources, which we determine to be not co-moving, and therefore unbound to the system. <BR /> Conclusions: We present the first detection of the transition disk of RX J1615 in scattered light. The height of the rings indicate limited flaring of the disk surface, which enables partial self-shadowing in the disk. The outermost arc either traces the bottom of the disk or it is another ring with semi-major axis ≳ 2.35'' (435 au). We explore both scenarios, extrapolating the complete shape of the feature, which will allow us to distinguish between the two in future observations. The most attractive scenario, where the arc traces the bottom of the outer ring, requires the disk to be truncated at r ≈ 360 au. If the closest companion candidate is indeed orbiting the disk at 540 au, then it would be the most likely cause for such truncation. This companion candidate, as well as the remaining four, all require follow up observations to determine if they are bound to the system. <P />Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme IDs 095.C-0298(A), 095.C-0298(B), and 095.C-0693(A) during guaranteed and open time observations of the SPHERE consortium, and on NACO observations: program IDs: 085.C-0012(A), 087.C-0111(A), and 089.C-0133(A). The reduced images as FITS files are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/595/A114">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/595/A114</A> [less ▲]

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See detailAsymmetric features in the protoplanetary disk MWC 758
Benisty, M.; Juhasz, A.; Boccaletti, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015)

Context. The study of dynamical processes in protoplanetary disks is essential to understand planet formation. In this context, transition disks are prime targets because they are at an advanced stage of ... [more ▼]

Context. The study of dynamical processes in protoplanetary disks is essential to understand planet formation. In this context, transition disks are prime targets because they are at an advanced stage of disk clearing and may harbor direct signatures of disk evolution. Aims: We aim to derive new constraints on the structure of the transition disk MWC 758, to detect non-axisymmetric features and understand their origin. Methods: We obtained infrared polarized intensity observations of the protoplanetary disk MWC 758 with VLT/SPHERE at 1.04 μm to resolve scattered light at a smaller inner working angle (0.093'') and a higher angular resolution (0.027'') than previously achieved. Results: We observe polarized scattered light within 0.53'' (148 au) down to the inner working angle (26 au) and detect distinct non-axisymmetric features but no fully depleted cavity. The two small-scale spiral features that were previously detected with HiCIAO are resolved more clearly, and new features are identified, including two that are located at previously inaccessible radii close to the star. We present a model based on the spiral density wave theory with two planetary companions in circular orbits. The best model requires a high disk aspect ratio (H/r ~ 0.20 at the planet locations) to account for the large pitch angles which implies a very warm disk. Conclusions: Our observations reveal the complex morphology of the disk MWC 758. To understand the origin of the detected features, the combination of high-resolution observations in the submillimeter with ALMA and detailed modeling is needed. [less ▲]

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