Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013
CHARACTERIZING EXOPLANETS AND PROTOPLANETRY DISKS WITH VLT / NACO
Sascha P. Quanz, et al. (ETH Zurich)
Using high-contrast direct imaging techniques several gas giant planets orbiting young, nearby star have been imaged in the last years. At least some of these stars do not only harbor one (or more) gas giant planets, but also a circumstellar (debris) disk. Interestingly, some of these disks shows geometric or morphological evidence for the orbiting planet. Examples include a) beta Pictoris that shows warps in its disk and and a tilted inner disk (Lagrange et al. 2010); b) Fomalhaut, where the center of the large debris ring does not coincide with the central star (Kalas et al. 2008); and c) LkCa 15, where a young planet candidate was detected inside the large gap of the transition disk (Kraus & Ireland 2012). Turning this around, one may think that circumstellar disks that show string sub-structures close to the star might be good targets to search for (young) planets... High-contrast direct imaging techniques coupled with state-of-the-art data analysis algorithms allow us to search for and characterize 1) exoplanets around nearby stars and 2) structures in the inner regions of protoplanetary disks with both unprecedented sensitivity and small inner working angle. Here, we summarize the results from various high-contrast programs carried out with VLT/NACO. Key highlights include the confirmation of a protoplanet candidate embedded in the disk of the Herbig Ae/Be star HD100546.
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