Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics Imaging Polarimetry of Herbig Ae/Be Stars

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Science  27 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5662, pp. 1345-1348
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094602

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We have used laser guide star adaptive optics and a near-infrared dual-channel imaging polarimeter to observe light scattered in the circumstellar environment of Herbig Ae/Be stars on scales of 100 to 300 astronomical units. We revealed a strongly polarized, biconical nebula 10 arc seconds (6000 astronomical units) in diameter around the star LkHα 198 and also observed a polarized jet-like feature associated with the deeply embedded source LkHα 198-IR. The star LkHα 233 presents a narrow, unpolarized dark lane consistent with an optically thick circumstellar disk blocking our direct view of the star. These data show that the lower-mass T Tauri and intermediate mass Herbig Ae/Be stars share a common evolutionary sequence.

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