Hubble space telescope/NICMOS imaging of disks and envelopes around very young stars

Deborah L. Padgett, Wolfgang Brandner, Karl R. Stapelfeldt, Stephen E. Strom, Susan Terebey, David Koerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

224 Scopus citations


We present HST/NICMOS observations with ∼0″.1 ≈15 AU resolution of six young stellar objects in the Taurus star formation region. The targets of our survey are three Class I IRAS sources (IRAS 04016 + 2610, IRAS 04248 + 2612, and IRAS 04302 + 2247) and three low-luminosity stars (DG Tau B, Haro 6-5B, and CoKu Tau/1) associated with Herbig-Haro jets. The broadband images show that the near-infrared radiation from these sources is dominated by light scattered from dusty circumstellar material distributed in a region 10 15 times the size of our solar system. Although the detailed morphologies of the individual objects are unique, the observed young stellar objects share common features. All of the circumstellar reflection nebulae are crossed by dark lanes from 500 to 900 AU in extent and from less than 50 to 350 AU in apparent thickness. The absorption lanes extend perpendicular to known optical and millimeter outflows in these sources. We interpret the dark lanes as optically thick circumstellar disks seen in silhouette against bright reflection nebulosity. The bipolar reflection nebulae extending perpendicular to the dust lanes appear to be produced by scattering from the upper and lower surfaces of the disks and from dusty material within or on the walls of the outflow cavities. Of five objects in which the central source is directly detected, two are found to be subarcsecond binaries. This minisurvey is the highest resolution near-infrared study to date of circumstellar environments around solar-type stars with age ≤ 1 Myr.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1490-1504
Number of pages15
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Circumstellar matter
  • ISM: Jets and outflows
  • Stars: Pre-main-sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Hubble space telescope/NICMOS imaging of disks and envelopes around very young stars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this