August 2016 • 2016ApJ...826..147D
Abstract • Using the Gemini Planet Imager, we have resolved the circumstellar debris disk around HD 111520 at a projected range of ∼30-100 AU in both total and polarized H-band intensity. The disk is seen edge-on at a position angle of 165° along the spine of emission. A slight inclination and asymmetric warp are covariant and alter the interpretation of the observed disk emission. We employ three point-spread function subtraction methods to reduce the stellar glare and instrumental artifacts to confirm that there is a roughly 2:1 brightness asymmetry between the NW and SE extension. This specific feature makes HD 111520 the most extreme example of asymmetric debris disks observed in scattered light among similar highly inclined systems, such as HD 15115 and HD 106906. We further identify a tentative localized brightness enhancement and scale height enhancement associated with the disk at ∼40 AU away from the star on the SE extension. We also find that the fractional polarization rises from 10% to 40% from 0.″5 to 0.″8 from the star. The combination of large brightness asymmetry and symmetric polarization fraction leads us to believe that an azimuthal dust density variation is causing the observed asymmetry.