November 19, 1998 CfA Colloquium


Title: A Candidate Protoplanet in the Taurus Star Forming Region

Speaker: Susan Terebey

Abstract: HST/NICMOS images of the class I protostar TMR-1 (IRAS04361+2547) reveal a faint companion with 10.0'' = 1400 AU projected separation. The central protostar is itself resolved as a close binary with 0.31'' = 42 AU separation, surrounded by circumstellar reflection nebulosity. A long narrow filament seems to connect the protobinary to the faint companion TMR-1C, suggesting a physical association. If the sources are physically related then we hypothesize that TMR-1C has been ejected by the protobinary. If TMR-1C has the same age and distance as the protobinary then current models indicate its flux is consistent with a young giant planet of several Jovian masses.

Reference for students: Burrows et al. 1997, ApJ, 491, 856. "A Non-gray theory of Extrasolar Giant Planets and Brown Dwarfs"