Adaptive optics imaging of Vy Canis Majoris at 2-5 μm with LBT/LMIRCam

Dinesh P. Shenoy, Terry J. Jones, Roberta M. Humphreys, Massimo Marengo, Jarron M. Leisenring, Matthew J. Nelson, John C. Wilson, Michael F. Skrutskie, Philip M. Hinz, William F. Hoffmann, Vanessa Bailey, Andrew Skemer, Timothy Rodigas, Vidhya Vaitheeswaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We present adaptive optics images of the extreme red supergiant VY Canis Majoris in the Ks , L′, and M bands (2.15-4.8 μm) made with LMIRCam on the Large Binocular Telescope. The peculiar "Southwest Clump" previously imaged from 1 to 2.2 μm appears prominently in all three filters. We find its brightness is due almost entirely to scattering, with the contribution of thermal emission limited to at most 25%. We model its brightness as optically thick scattering from silicate dust grains using typical size distributions. We find a lower limit mass for this single feature of 5 × 10-3 M to 2.5 × 10-2 M depending on the assumed gas-to-dust ratio. The presence of the Clump as a distinct feature with no apparent counterpart on the other side of the star is suggestive of an ejection event from a localized region of the star and is consistent with VY CMa's history of asymmetric high-mass-loss events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number90
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • circumstellar matter
  • stars: activity
  • stars: individual (VY Canis Majoris)
  • stars: winds, outflows
  • supergiants


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptive optics imaging of Vy Canis Majoris at 2-5 μm with LBT/LMIRCam'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this