Saturday, January 10, 2015

Searching for Planets in Holey Debris Disks

Searching for Planets in Holey Debris Disks with the Apodizing Phase Plate


Meshkat et al


We present our first results from a high-contrast imaging search for planetary mass companions around stars with gapped debris disks, as inferred from the stars' bright infrared excesses. For the six considered stars, we model the disks' unresolved infrared spectral energy distributions (SEDs) in order to derive the temperature and location of the disk components. With VLT/NaCo Apodizing Phase Plate coronagraphic L'-band imaging, we search for planetary mass companions that may be sculpting the disks. We detect neither disks nor companions in this sample, confirmed by comparing plausible point sources with archival data. In order to calculate our mass sensitivity limit, we revisit the stellar age estimates. One target, HD 17848, at 540±100 Myr old is significantly older than previously estimated. We then discuss our high-contrast imaging results with respect to the disk properties.

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