NaCo polarimetric observations of Sz 91 transitional disc: a remarkable case of dust filtering

Karina Maucó, Johan Olofsson, Hector Canovas, Matthias R. Schreiber, Valentin Christiaens, Amelia Bayo, Alice Zurlo, Claudio Cáceres, Christophe Pinte, Eva Villaver, Julien H. Girard, Lucas Cieza, Matías Montesinos. 2020. NaCo polarimetric observations of Sz 91 transitional disc: a remarkable case of dust filtering. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 492, 2, 1531-1542,

We present polarized light observations of the transitional disc around Sz 91 acquired with VLT/NaCo at H (1.7μm) and Ks (2.2μm) bands. We resolve the disc and detect polarized emission up to ∼0.5 arcsec (∼80 au) along with a central cavity at both bands. We computed a radiative transfer model that accounts for the main characteristics of the polarized observations. We found that the emission is best explained by small, porous grains distributed in a disc with a ∼45 au cavity. Previous ALMA observations have revealed a large sub-mm cavity (∼83 au) and extended gas emission from the innermost (<16 au) regions up to almost 400 au from the star. Dynamical clearing by multiple low-mass planets arises as the most probable mechanism for the origin of Sz 91’s peculiar structure. Using new L′-band ADI observations, we can rule out companions more massive than Mp ≥ 8 MJup beyond 45 au assuming hot-start models. The disc is clearly asymmetric in polarized light along the minor axis, with the north side brighter than the south side. Differences in position angle between the disc observed at sub-mm wavelengths with ALMA and our NaCo observations were found. This suggests that the disc around Sz 91 could be highly structured. Higher signal-to-noise near-IR and sub-mm observations are needed to confirm the existence of such structures and to improve the current understanding of the origin of transitional discs.

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