BP Piscium: its flaring disc imaged with SPHERE/ZIMPOL$^★$


Whether BP Piscium (BP Psc) is either a pre-main sequence T Tauri star at d ensuremath≈ 80 pc, or a post-main sequence G giant at d ensuremath≈ 300 pc is still not clear. As a first-ascent giant, it is the first to be observed with a molecular and dust disc. Alternatively, BP Psc would be among the nearest T Tauri stars with a protoplanetary disc (PPD). We investigate whether the disc geometry resembles typical PPDs, by comparing polarimetric images with radiative transfer models. Our Very Large Telescope/Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE)/Zurich IMaging Polarimeter (ZIMPOL) observations allow us to perform polarimetric differential imaging, reference star differential imaging, and Richardson- Lucy deconvolution. We present the first visible light polarization and intensity images of the disc of BP Psc. Our deconvolution confirms the disc shape as detected before, mainly showing the southern side of the disc. In polarized intensity the disc is imaged at larger detail and also shows the northern side, giving it the typical shape of high-inclination flared discs. We explain the observed disc features by retrieving the large-scale geometry with MCMAX radiative transfer modelling, which yields a strongly flared model, atypical for discs of T Tauri stars.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society