First direct detection of a Keplerian rotating disk around the Be star $\alpha$ Arae using the VLTI/AMBER instrument.

Abstract : Aims. We aim to study the geometry and kinematics of the disk around the Be star $\alpha$ Arae as a function of wavelength, especially across the Br$\gamma$ emission line. The main purpose of this paper is to answer the question about the nature of the disk rotation around Be stars. Methods. We use the VLTI/AMBER instrument operating in the K band which provides a gain by a factor 5 in spatial resolution compared to previous VLTI/MIDI observations. Moreover, it is possible to combine the high angular resolution provided with the (medium) spectral resolution of AMBER to study the kinematics of the inner part of the disk and to infer its rotation law. Results. We obtain for the first time the direct evidence that the disk is in keplerian rotation, answering a question that occurs since the discovery of the first Be star $\gamma$ Cas by father Secchi in 1866. We also present the global geometry of the disk showing that it is compatible with a thin disk + polar enhanced winds modeled with the SIMECA code. We found that the disk around $\alpha$ Arae is compatible with a dense equatorial matter confined in the central region whereas a polar wind is contributing along the rotational axis of the central star. Between these two regions the density must be low enough to reproduce the large visibility modulus (small extension) obtained for two of the four VLTI baselines. Moreover, we obtain that $\alpha$ Arae is rotating very close to its critical rotation. This scenario is also compatible with the previous MIDI measurements.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 16, 2006 - 12:00:32 PM
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Anthony Meilland, Philippe Stee, Martin Vannier, Florentin Millour, Armando Domiciano de Souza, et al.. First direct detection of a Keplerian rotating disk around the Be star $\alpha$ Arae using the VLTI/AMBER instrument.. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2007, 464, pp.59. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361:20064848⟩. ⟨hal-00078768v2⟩

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