High-contrast near-infrared imaging polarimetry of the protoplanetary disk around RY Tau

Michihiro Takami, Jennifer L. Karr, Jun Hashimoto, Hyosun Kim, John Wisniewski, Thomas Henning, Carol A. Grady, Ryo Kandori, Klaus W. Hodapp, Tomoyuki Kudo, Nobuhiko Kusakabe, Mei Yin Chou, Yoichi Itoh, Munetake Momose, Satoshi Mayama, Thayne Currie, Katherine B. Follette, Jungmi Kwon, Lyu Abe, Wolfgang BrandnerTimothy D. Brandt, Joseph Carson, Sebastian E. Egner, Markus Feldt, Olivier Guyon, Yutaka Hayano, Masahiko Hayashi, Saeko Hayashi, Miki Ishii, Masanori Iye, Markus Janson, Gillian R. Knapp, Masayuki Kuzuhara, Michael W. McElwain, Taro Matsuo, Shoken Miyama, Jun Ichi Morino, Amaya Moro-Martin, Tetsuo Nishimura, Tae Soo Pyo, Eugene Serabyn, Hiroshi Suto, Ryuji Suzuki, Naruhisa Takato, Hiroshi Terada, Christian Thalmann, Daigo Tomono, Edwin L. Turner, Makoto Watanabe, Toru Yamada, Hideki Takami, Tomonori Usuda, Motohide Tamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We present near-infrared coronagraphic imaging polarimetry of RY Tau. The scattered light in the circumstellar environment was imaged at the H band at a high resolution (∼0.″05) for the first time, using Subaru/HiCIAO. The observed polarized intensity (PI) distribution shows a butterfly-like distribution of bright emission with an angular scale similar to the disk observed at millimeter wavelengths. This distribution is offset toward the blueshifted jet, indicating the presence of a geometrically thick disk or a remnant envelope, and therefore the earliest stage of the Class II evolutionary phase. We perform comparisons between the observed PI distribution and disk models with (1) full radiative transfer code, using the spectral energy distribution (SED) to constrain the disk parameters; and (2) monochromatic simulations of scattered light which explore a wide range of parameters space to constrain the disk and dust parameters. We show that these models cannot consistently explain the observed PI distribution, SED, and the viewing angle inferred by millimeter interferometry. We suggest that the scattered light in the near-infrared is associated with an optically thin and geometrically thick layer above the disk surface, with the surface responsible for the infrared SED. Half of the scattered light and thermal radiation in this layer illuminates the disk surface, and this process may significantly affect the thermal structure of the disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number145
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • polarization
  • protoplanetary disks
  • stars: individual (RY Tau)
  • stars: pre-main sequence


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