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Celestial Album
RY Tau image in near infrared


An image (left) in the near infrared (1.65 μm) around RY Tau, using a special mode of the HiCIAO coronagraph, the polarized intensity image. This type of observation is preferred for faint emissions associated with scattered light around planet-forming disks, as there is less light from the much brighter star. The colors indicate the strength of the emission (blue, yellow and red from faint to bright). A coronagraphic mask in the telescope optics blocks the central star, with its position marked at the center. A white ellipse shows the position of the midplane of the disk, which is observed at millimeter wavelengths. Scattered light observed in the near infrared is offset to the top of the image compared with the denser millimeter disk. (right) Schematic view of the observed infrared light. The light from the star is scattered in the upper dust layer, and it makes the observed light offset from the midplane. Credit: NAOJ

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