Multi-epoch Near-infrared Interferometry of the Spatially Resolved Disk around the Be Star $ Tau

G.~H. Schaefer, D.~R. Gies, J.~D. Monnier, N.~D. Richardson, Y. Touhami, M. Zhao, X. Che, E. Pedretti, N. Thureau, T. ten Brummelaar, H.~A. McAlister, S.~T. Ridgway, J. Sturmann, L. Sturmann, N.~H. Turner, C.~D. Farrington, P.~J. Goldfinger

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29 Citations (Scopus)


We present interferometric observations of the Be star ζ Tau obtained using the MIRC beam combiner at the CHARA Array. We resolved the disk during four epochs in 2007-2009. We fit the data with a geometric model to characterize the circumstellar disk as a skewed elliptical Gaussian and the central Be star as a uniform disk. The visibilities reveal a nearly edge-on disk with an FWHM major axis of ~1.8 mas in the H band. The non-zero closure phases indicate an asymmetry within the disk. Interestingly, when combining our results with previously published interferometric observations of ζ Tau, we find a correlation between the position angle of the disk and the spectroscopic V/R ratio, suggesting that the tilt of the disk is precessing. This work is part of a multi-year monitoring campaign to investigate the development and outward motion of asymmetric structures in the disks of Be stars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1838-1849
Number of pages12
JournalAstronomical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2010


  • circumstellar matter, stars: emission-line, Be, stars: individual: $ Tau, techniques: interferometric


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