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Interferometric survey of Be stars with the CHARA array

  • Yamina N. Touhami (a1), Douglas R. Gies (a1), Gail H. Schaefer (a2), Noel D. Richardson (a1), Stephen J. Williams (a1), Erika D. Grundstrom (a3) and M. Virginia McSwain (a4)...

Abstract

We present the first spatially resolved observations of circumstellar envelopes of 25 bright northern Be stars. The survey was performed with the CHARA Array interferometer in the K-band at intermediate and long baselines. The interferometric visibilities are well fitted by a viscous disk model where the gas density steeply decreases with the radius. Physical and geometrical parameters such as the density profile, the inclination, and the position angles of the circumstellar disks are determined. We find that the density radial exponent ranges between n ≈ 2.4 − 3.2, which is consistent with previous IRAS measurements. We have also obtained simultaneous optical and near-IR spectrophotometric measurements, and found that the model reproduces well the observed disk IR-continuum excess emission. By combining the projected rotational velocity of the Be star with the disk inclination derived from interferometry, we give estimates of the equatorial rotational velocities of these Be stars.

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References

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Dougherty, S. M., Waters, L. B. F. M., Burki, G., Cote, J. et al. 1994, A&A, 290, 609
Gies, D. R., Bagnuolo, W. G. Jr., Baines, E. K., ten Brummelaar, T. A. et al. 2007, ApJ, 654, 527
Porter, J. M. & Rivinius, T. 2003, PASP, 115, 1153
Touhami, Y., Richardson, N. D., Gies, D. R., Schaefer, G. H. et al. 2010, PASP, 122, 379
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