Interferometric imaging, combined with spectroscopy, is providing a powerful way to unlock the long-kept secrets of the engimatic eclipsing system, ∊ Aurigae, that has puzzled astronomers for many decades. A sequence of H-band MIRC images obtained at the CHARA Array during the 2010 eclipse, is augmented with spectra obtained by a worldwide network of observers participating in the eclipse campaign. The MIRC images confirm the hypothesized dark disk, revealing it to have dimensions of ∼8 AU long by ∼0.7 AU thick, that occults the southern hemisphere of the 135R☉ F-star primary; however, these dimensions are dependent on the assumed distance, which still is not settled. Spectra reveal a wealth of changes caused by facets of the disk that can be associated with substructure, including possible rings, a central ionized region, and evidence for accretion onto a hot embedded object. Results reported here are due to the help of numerous observers to whom I am indebted, and support for this effort that was derived in part from a bequest of William Herschel Womble in support of astronomy at the University of Denver, from NSF grant 1016678, and from JPL RSA 1414715 to the University of Denver.
Resolving The Future Of Astronomy With Long-Baseline Interferometry
- Pub Date:
- September 2014