Variable Outer Disk Shadowing Around the Dipper Star RX J1604.3-2130

Paola Pinilla (Lead / Corresponding author), Myriam Benisty, Jozua de Boer, Carlo F. Manara, Jerome Bouvier, Carsten Dominik, Christian Ginski, Ryan A. Loomis, Aurora Sicilia Aguilar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


Low brightness dips have recently been observed in images of protoplanetary disks, and they are believed to be shadows by the inner disk. We present VLT/SPHERE polarimetric differential imaging of the transition disk around the dipper star RX J1604.3-2130. We gathered 11 epochs that cover a large temporal baseline, to search for variability over timescales of years, months, weeks, and days. Our observations unambiguously reveal two dips along an almost face-on narrow ring (with a width of ∼20 au), and the location of the peak of this ring is at ∼65 au. The ring lies inside the ring-like structure observed with ALMA, which peaks at ∼83 au. This segregation can result from particle trapping in pressure bumps, potentially due to planet(s). We find that the dips are variable, both in morphology and in position. The eastern dip, at a position angle (PA) of ∼83.°7 ±13.°7, has an amplitude that varies between 40% to 90%, and its angular width varies from 10° to 34°. The western dip, at a PA of ∼265.°90 ±13.°0, is more variable, with amplitude and width variations of 31% to 95% and 12° to 53°, respectively. The separation between the dips is 178.°3 ±14.°5, corresponding to a large misalignment between the inner and outer disks, supporting the classification of J1604 as an aperiodic dipper. The variability indicates that the innermost regions are highly dynamic, possibly due to a massive companion or to a complex magnetic field topology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2018


  • accretion, accretion disks
  • circumstellar matter
  • planets and satellites: formation
  • protoplanetary disks
  • stars: individual ([PZ99] J160421.7-213028)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Variable Outer Disk Shadowing Around the Dipper Star RX J1604.3-2130'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this