A 5 μm image of β Pictoris b at A sub-Jupiter projected separation: Evidence for a misalignment between the planet and the inner, warped disk

Thayne Currie, Christian Thalmann, Soko Matsumura, Nikku Madhusudhan, Adam Burrows, Marc Kuchner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present and analyze a new M′ detection of the young exoplanet β Pictoris b from 2008 VLT/NaCo data at a separation of ≈4 AU and a high signal-to-noise rereduction of L′ data taken in 2009 December. Based on our orbital analysis, the planet's orbit is viewed almost perfectly edge-on (i ∼ 89deg) and has a Saturn-like semimajor axis of 9.50AU+3.93 AU - 1.7 AU. Intriguingly, the planet's orbit is aligned with the major axis of the outer disk (Ω ∼ 31deg) but is probably misaligned with the warp/inclined disk at 80 AU, often cited as a signpost for the planet's existence. Our results motivate new studies to clarify how β Pic b sculpts debris disk structures and whether a second planet is required to explain the warp/inclined disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL33
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume736
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • planetary systems
  • stars: early-type
  • stars: individual (β Pictoris)

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