Near-IR high-resolution imaging polarimetry of the SU Aur disk: Clues for tidal tails?

Jerome De Leon, Michihiro Takami, Jennifer L. Karr, Jun Hashimoto, Tomoyuki Kudo, Michael Sitko, Satoshi Mayama, Nobuyuki Kusakabe, Eiji Akiyama, Hauyu Baobab Liu, Tomonori Usuda, Lyu Abe, Wolfgang Brandner, Timothy D. Brandt, Joseph Carson, Thayne Currie, Sebastian E. Egner, Markus Feldt, Katherine Follette, Carol A. GradyMiwa Goto, Olivier Guyon, Yutaka Hayano, Masahiko Hayashi, Saeko Hayashi, Thomas Henning, Klaus W. Hodapp, Miki Ishii, Masanori Iye, Markus Janson, Ryo Kandori, Gillian R. Knapp, Masayuki Kuzuhara, Jungmi Kwon, Taro Matsuo, Michael W. McElwain, Shoken Miyama, Jun Ichi Morino, Amaya Moro Martin, Tetsuo Nishimura, Tae Soo Pyo, Eugene Serabyn, Takuya Suenaga, Hiroshi Suto, Ryuji Suzuki, Yasuhiro Takahashi, Naruhisa Takato, Hiroshi Terada, Christian Thalmann, Daigo Tomono, Edwin L. Turner, Makoto Watanabe, John P. Wisniewski, Toru Yamada, Hideki Takami, Motohide Tamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We present new high-resolution (∼0.″09) H-band imaging observations of the circumstellar disk around the T Tauri star SU Aur. Our observations with Subaru-HiCIAO have revealed the presence of scattered light as close as 0″. 15 (∼20 AU) to the star. Within our image, we identify bright emission associated with a disk with a minimum radius of ∼90 AU, an inclination of ∼35° from the plane of the sky, and an approximate PA of 15° for the major axis. We find a brightness asymmetry between the northern and southern sides of the disk due to a non-axisymmetric disk structure. We also identify a pair of asymmetric tail structures extending east and west from the disk. The western tail extends at least 2″. 5 (350 AU) from the star, and is probably associated with a reflection nebula previously observed at optical and near-IR wavelengths. The eastern tail extends at least 1″ (140 AU) at the present signal-tonoise. These tails are likely due to an encounter with an unseen brown dwarf, but our results do not exclude the explanation that these tails are outflow cavities or jets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL10
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • polarization
  • protoplanetary disks
  • stars: individual (SU Aur)
  • stars: pre-main sequence


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