Epsilon Aurigae Press Release

Embargo Policy

The content of the press releases, this website, and paper is embargoed until 1800 London time / 1300 US Eastern Time on 7 April 2010, the day before publication.  

Papers

Supporting material for "Infrared images of the transiting disk in the ε Aurigae system" by Kloppenborg et. al. 2010 April, Nature

Main Paper

Online Supplementary Material

Collaborating Institutions and Contact Information

University of Denver

Brian Kloppenborg
University of Denver
Phone: 1.303.871.4505
Voicemail: 1.303.871.2135
Fax: 1.303.871.4405
Email: bkloppen@du.edu

Robert Stencel
University of Denver
Phone: 1.303.871.2135
Fax: 1.303.871.4405
Email: rstencel@du.edu

University of Michigan

John D. Monnier
University of Michigan
Phone: 1.734.763.5822
Fax: 1.734.763.6317
Email: monnier@umich.edu

Georgia State University

Harold A. McAlister
CHARA / Georgia State University
Phone: 1.404.413.5480
Fax: 1.404.413.5481
Email: hal@chara.gsu.edu

University of St Andrews

Ettore Pedretti
School of Physics and Astronomy
University of St Andrews, North Haugh,
St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9SS, Scotland<
Phone: +44-1334-461666
Fax: +44-1334-463104
Email: ep41@st-and.ac.uk


Press Releases

Photos

Press Quality Photos

Eclipse figures WITHOUT disk outline

Downloads:

High resolution (600 ppi) JPEG (1.7 MB)

High resolution (600 ppi) JPEG (No Text) (1.1 MB)

High resolution PDF (175 kb)

High resolution PDF (No Text)(314 kb)

Reconstructed images showing the progression of the 2009-2010 eclipse of epsilon Aurigae as imaged by the Center for High Angular Resolution interferometer with the Michigan Infrared beam Combiner.  The eclipse occurs once every 27.1 years and happens when a F-type star is obscured by a B-type star that is enshrouded in a large disk of opaque material.  The pre-eclipse observations in 2008 (left) show the F-star as a nearly uniformly illuminated 2.27 milliarcsecond circle.  The 2009Nov observation (center) shows the shadow of the disk around second contact and the 2009Dec observations (right) show that nearly 50% of the stellar surface is obscured by the eclipsing object.

The resolution limit of the interferometer is 0.5 milliarcseconds (about 0.25 Astronomical Units at the Hipparcos-estimated 2,000 light year distance).  Images are drawn in the equatorial coordinate system with north up and east to the left.


Image Credit: John D. Monnier, University of Michigan

 

Eclipse Figures WITH disk outline

Downloads:

High resolution (600 ppi) JPEG (1.8 MB)

High resolution (600 ppi) JPEG (No Text) (1.2 MB)

High resolution PDF (256 KB)

High resolution PDF (No Text) (442 KB)

Reconstructed images showing the progression of the 2009-2010 eclipse of epsilon Aurigae as imaged by the Center for High Angular Resolution interferometer with the Michigan Infrared beam Combiner.  The eclipse occurs once every 27.1 years and happens when a F-type star is obscured by a B-type star that is enshrouded in a large disk of opaque material.  The pre-eclipse observations in 2008 (left) show the F-star as a nearly uniformly illuminated 2.27 milliarcsecond circle.  The 2009Nov observation (center) shows the shadow of the disk (outlined in a white ellipse) around second contact and the 2009Dec observations (right) show that nearly 50% of the stellar surface is obscured by the eclipsing object.


The resolution limit of the interferometer is 0.5 milliarcseconds (about 0.25 Astronomical Units at the Hipparcos-estimated 2,000 light year distance).  Images are drawn in the equatorial coordinate system with north up and east to the left.


Image Credit: John D. Monnier, University of Michigan

 

Downloads:

High resolution (600 ppi) JPEG (2.1 MB)

High resolution PDF (956 kb)

At the core of the Michigan Infrared Combiner (MIRC) lies a silicon V-groove array with single mode fibers, taking up less space than a penny (shown for scale).


Image Credit: John D. Monnier, University of Michigan

Other Images

Images of CHARA, the observing team, and the surrounding region of Mount Wilson can be found by click on the Epsilon Aurigae tab on Brian's Portfolio Page.

Discussion and Details

The story of Epsilon Aurigae is nearly a the complete history of astrophysics.  Several different solutions to the eclipse problem have been proposed including a black hole, the biggest star in the universe, and the disk model.  Below are a series of links that can help you get up to speed on the science of epsilon Aurigae.  In particular, my post on the History and Evolution of the Disk Theory is probably worth reading.  Be sure to check out the Citizen Sky project whose target object is Epsilon Aurigae.


Videos

A video of the eclipse caused by the disk model proposed in the manuscript. Here you see the model disk passing in front of the F-star. The sequence stars in January 2009 and ends in December 2009.
Model parameters are as described in the manuscript.

Video Credit: John D. Monnier, University of Michigan