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An Optical/Near-infrared Investigation of HD 100546 b with the Gemini Planet Imager and MagAO


We present H band spectroscopic and Hμ photometric observations of HD 100546 obtained with the Gemini Planet Imager and the Magellan Visible AO camera. We detect H band emission at the location of the protoplanet HD 100546 b, but show that the choice of data processing parameters strongly affects the morphology of this source. It appears point-like in some aggressive reductions, but rejoins an extended disk structure in the majority of the others. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this emission appears stationary on a timescale of 4.6 years, inconsistent at the 2σ level with a Keplerian clockwise orbit at 59 au in the disk plane. The H band spectrum of the emission is inconsistent with any type of low effective temperature object or accreting protoplanetary disk. It strongly suggests a scattered-light origin, as this is consistent with the spectrum of the star and the spectra extracted at other locations in the disk. A non-detection at the 5σ level of HD 100546 b in differential Hμ imaging places an upper limit, assuming the protoplanet lies in a gap free of extinction, on the accretion luminosity of 1.7 ? 10-4 L o and for 1 R Jup. These limits are comparable to the accretion luminosity and accretion rate of T-Tauri stars or LkCa 15 b. Taken together, these lines of evidence suggest that the H band source at the location of HD 100546 b is not emitted by a planetary photosphere or an accreting circumplanetary disk but is a disk feature enhanced by the point-spread function subtraction process. This non-detection is consistent with the non-detection in the K band reported in an earlier study but does not exclude the possibility that HD 100546 b is deeply embedded.

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