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Catalogue POP – Notice individuelle de publication

Lagrange Anne-Marie, Gratadour Damien, Chauvin Gaël, Fusco Thierry, Ehrenreich David, Mouillet David, Rousset Gérard, Rouan Daniel, Allard F., Gendron Éric, Charton J., Mugnier Laurent M., Rabou Patrick, Montri Joseph, Lacombe François

A probable giant planet imaged in the beta Pictoris disk. VLT/NaCo deep L'-band imaging

Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2009, vol. 493, pp. L21-L25

Référence DOI : 10.1051/0004-6361:200811325
Référence ADS : 2009A&A...493L..21L

Résumé :

Context: Since the discovery of its dusty disk in 1984, beta Pictoris has become the prototype of young early-type planetary systems, and there are now various indications that a massive Jovian planet is orbiting the star at ~10 AU. However, no planets have been detected around this star so far. <BR />Aims: Our goal was to investigate the close environment of beta Pic, searching for planetary companion(s). <BR />Methods: Deep adaptive-optics L'-band images of beta Pic were recorded using the NaCo instrument at the Very Large Telescope. <BR />Results: A faint point-like signal is detected at a projected distance of ~=8 AU from the star, within the northeastern extension of the dust disk. Various tests were made to rule out possible instrumental or atmospheric artefacts at a good confidence level. The probability of a foreground or background contaminant is extremely low, based in addition on the analysis of previous deep HST images. Its L'=11.2 apparent magnitude would indicate a typical temperature of ~1500 K and a mass of ~8 M_Jup. If confirmed, it could explain the main morphological and dynamical peculiarities of the beta Pic system. The present detection is unique among A-stars by the proximity of the resolved planet to its parent star. Its closeness and location inside the beta Pic disk suggest a formation process by core accretion or disk instabilities rather than binary-like formation processes.

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