Gemini-LIGHTS: Herbig Ae/Be and Massive T Tauri Protoplanetary Disks Imaged with Gemini Planet Imager

September 2022 • 2022AJ....164..109R

Authors • Rich, Evan A. • Monnier, John D. • Aarnio, Alicia • Laws, Anna S. E. • Setterholm, Benjamin R. • Wilner, David J. • Calvet, Nuria • Harries, Tim • Miller, Chris • Davies, Claire L. • Adams, Fred C. • Andrews, Sean M. • Bae, Jaehan • Espaillat, Catherine • Greenbaum, Alexandra Z. • Hinkley, Sasha • Kraus, Stefan • Hartmann, Lee • Isella, Andrea • McClure, Melissa • Oppenheimer, Rebecca • Pérez, Laura M. • Zhu, Zhaohuan

Abstract • We present the complete sample of protoplanetary disks from the Gemini- Large Imaging with the Gemini Planet Imager Herbig/T Tauri Survey, which observed bright Herbig Ae/Be stars and T Tauri stars in near-infrared polarized light to search for signatures of disk evolution and ongoing planet formation. The 44 targets were chosen based on their near- and mid-infrared colors, with roughly equal numbers of transitional, pre-transitional, and full disks. Our approach explicitly did not favor well-known, "famous" disks or those observed by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, resulting in a less-biased sample suitable to probe the major stages of disk evolution during planet formation. Our optimized data reduction allowed polarized flux as low as 0.002% of the stellar light to be detected, and we report polarized scattered light around 80% of our targets. We detected point-like companions for 47% of the targets, including three brown dwarfs (two confirmed, one new), and a new super-Jupiter-mass candidate around V1295 Aql. We searched for correlations between the polarized flux and system parameters, finding a few clear trends: the presence of a companion drastically reduces the polarized flux levels, far-IR excess correlates with polarized flux for nonbinary systems, and systems hosting disks with ring structures have stellar masses <3 M. Our sample also included four hot, dusty "FS CMa" systems, and we detected large-scale ( >100 au) scattered light around each, signs of extreme youth for these enigmatic systems. Science-ready images are publicly available through multiple distribution channels using a new FITS file standard that has been jointly developed with members of the Very Large Telescope Spectro-polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research team.


IPAC Authors

Alexandra Greenbaum

Assistant Scientist