VLTI/AMBER spectro-interferometry of the Herbig Be star MWC 297 with spectral resolution 12 000

Weigelt, G., Grinin, V. P., Groh, J. H., Hofmann, K.-H., Kraus, S., Miroshnichenko, A. S., Schertl, D., Tambovtseva, L. V., Benisty, M., Driebe, T., Lagarde, S., Malbet, F., Meilland, A., Petrov, R., Tatulli, E.

A&A, 527, id.A103 (2011)


Context. Circumstellar disks and outflows play a fundamental role in star formation. Infrared spectro-interferometry allows the inner accretion-ejection region to be resolved.

Aims: We study the disk and Brγ-emitting region of MWC 297 with high spatial and spectral resolution and compare our observations with disk-wind models.

Methods: We measured interferometric visibilities, wavelength-differential phases, and closure phases of MWC 297 with a spectral resolution of 12 000. To interpret our MWC 297 observations, we employed disk-wind models.

Results: The measured continuum visibilities confirm previous results that the continuum-emitting region of MWC 297 is remarkably compact. We derive a continuum ring-fit radius of ∼2.2 mas (∼0.56 AU at a distance of 250 pc), which is ∼5.4 times smaller than the 3 AU dust sublimation radius expected for silicate grains (in the absence of radiation-shielding material). The strongly wavelength-dependent and asymmetric Brγ-emitting region is more extended (∼2.7 times) than the continuum-emitting region. At the center of the Brγ line, we derive a Gaussian fit radius of ∼6.3 mas HWHM (∼1.6 AU). To interpret the observations, we employ a magneto- centrifugally driven disk-wind model consisting of an accretion disk, which emits the observed continuum radiation, and a disk wind, which emits the Brγ line. The calculated wavelength-dependent model intensity distributions and Brγ line profiles are compared with the observations (i.e., K-band spectrum, visibilities, differential phases, and closure phases). The closest fitting model predicts a continuum-emitting disk with an inner radius of ∼0.3 AU and a disk wind ejection region with an inner radius of ∼ 0.5 AU (∼17.5 stellar radii). We obtain a disk-wind half-opening angle (the angle between the rotation axis and the innermost streamline of the disk wind) of ∼80°, which is larger than in T Tau models, and a disk inclination angle of ∼20° (i.e., almost pole-on).

Conclusions: Our observations with a spectral resolution of 12 000 allow us to study the AU-scale environment of MWC 297 in ∼10 different spectral channels across the Brγ emission line. We show that the K-band flux, visibilities, and remarkably strong phases can be explained by the employed magneto-centrifugally driven disk wind model.

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