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Abstract: We recently reported on the detection of a possible planetary-mass companionto Beta Pictoris at a projected separation of 8 AU from the star, using datataken in November 2003 with NaCo, the adaptive-optics system installed on theVery Large Telescope UT4. Eventhough no second epoch detection was available,there are strong arguments to favor a gravitationally bound companion ratherthan a background object. If confirmed and located at a physical separation of8 AU, this young, hot ~1500 K, massive Jovian companion ~8 Mjup would bethe closest planet to its star ever imaged, could be formed via core-accretion,and could explain the main morphological and dynamical properties of the dustdisk. Our goal was to return to Beta Pic five years later to obtain asecond-epoch observation of the companion or, in case of a non-detection,constrain its orbit. Deep adaptive-optics L-band direct images of Beta Pic andKs-band Four-Quadrant-Phase-Mask 4QPM coronagraphic images were recorded withNaCo in January and February 2009. We also use 4QPM data taken in November2004. No point-like signal with the brightness of the companion candidateapparent magnitudes L-=11.2 or Ks ~ 12.5 is detected at projected distancesdown to 6.5 AU from the star in the 2009 data. As expected, the non-detectiondoes not allow to rule out a background object; however, we show that it isconsistent with the orbital motion of a bound companion that got closer to thestar since first observed in 2003 and that is just emerging from behind thestar at the present epoch. We place strong constraints on the possible orbitsof the companion and discuss future observing prospects.



Autor: Anne-Marie Lagrange LAOG, Markus Kasper ESO, Anthony Boccaletti LESIA, Gaël Chauvin LAOG, Damien Gratadour LESIA, Thierry Fusco,

Fuente: https://arxiv.org/







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