The gray needle: Large grains in the HD15115 debris disk from LBT

Timothy J. Rodigas, Philip M. Hinz, Jarron Leisenring, Vidhya Vaitheeswaran, Andrew J. Skemer, Michael Skrutskie, Kate Y.L. Su, Vanessa Bailey, Glenn Schneider, Laird Close, Filippo Mannucci, Simone Esposito, Carmelo Arcidiacono, Enrico Pinna, Javier Argomedo, Guido Agapito, Daniel Apai, Giuseppe Bono, Kostantina Boutsia, Runa BriguglioGuido Brusa, Lorenzo Busoni, Giovanni Cresci, Thayne Currie, Silvano Desidera, Josh Eisner, Renato Falomo, Luca Fini, Kate Follette, Adriano Fontana, Peter Garnavich, Raffaele Gratton, Richard Green, Juan Carlos Guerra, J. M. Hill, William F. Hoffmann, Terry J. Jones, Megan Krejny, Craig Kulesa, Jared Males, Elena Masciadri, Dino Mesa, Don McCarthy, Michael Meyer, Doug Miller, Matthew J. Nelson, Alfio Puglisi, Fernando Quiros-Pacheco, Armando Riccardi, Eleonora Sani, Paolo Stefanini, Vincenzo Testa, John Wilson, Charles E. Woodward, Marco Xompero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


We present diffraction-limited Ks band and L′ adaptive optics images of the edge-on debris disk around the nearby F2 star HD15115, obtained with a single 8.4m primary mirror at the Large Binocular Telescope. At the Ks band, the disk is detected at signal-to-noise per resolution element (SNRE) 3-8 from 1 to 25 (45-113AU) on the western side and from 12 to 21 (63-90AU) on the east. At L′ the disk is detected at SNRE 2.5 from 1 to 145 (45-90AU) on both sides, implying more symmetric disk structure at 3.8 μm. At both wavelengths the disk has a bow-like shape and is offset from the star to the north by a fewAU. A surface brightness asymmetry exists between the two sides of the disk at the Ks band, but not at L′. The surface brightness at the Ks band declines inside 1″ (45AU), which may be indicative of a gap in the disk near 1″. The Ks - L′ disk color, after removal of the stellar color, is mostly gray for both sides of the disk. This suggests that scattered light is coming from large dust grains, with 3-10 μm sized grains on the east side and 1-10 μm dust grains on the west. This may suggest that the west side is composed of smaller dust grains than the east side, which would support the interpretation that the disk is being dynamically affected by interactions with the local interstellar medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2012


  • circumstellar matter
  • instrumentation: adaptive optics
  • planetary systems
  • stars: individual (HD 15115)
  • techniques: high angular resolution


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