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 Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/793/1/57 Abstract: Observations of debris disks allow for the study of planetary systems, even where planets have not been detected. However, debris disks are often only characterized by unresolved infrared excesses that resemble featureless blackbodies, and the location of the emitting dust is uncertain due to a degeneracy with the dust grain properties. Here we characterize the Spitzer IRS spectra of 22 debris disks exhibiting 10 micron silicate emission features. Such features arise from small warm dust grains, and their presence can significantly constrain the orbital location of the emitting debris. We find that these features can be explained by the presence of an additional dust component in the terrestrial zones of the planetary systems, i.e. an exozodiacal belt. Aside from possessing exozodiacal dust, these debris disks are not particularly unique; their minimum grain sizes are consistent with the blowout sizes of their systems, and their brightnesses are comparable to those of featureless warm debris disks. These disks are in systems with a range of ages, although the older systems with features are found only around A-type stars. The features in young systems may be signatures of terrestrial planet formation. Analyzing the spectra of unresolved debris disks with emission features may be one of the simplest and most accessible ways to study the terrestrial regions of planetary systems.
 Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201116456 Abstract: Circumstantial evidence suggests that most known extra-solar planetary systems are survivors of violent dynamical instabilities. Here we explore how giant planet instabilities affect the formation and survival of terrestrial planets. We simulate planetary system evolution around Sun-like stars from initial conditions that comprise: an inner disk of planetesimals and planetary embryos, three giant planets at Jupiter-Saturn distances, and a massive outer planetesimal disk. We then calculate dust production rates and debris disk SEDs assuming that each planetesimal particle represents an ensemble of smaller bodies in collisional equilibrium. We predict a strong correlation between the presence of terrestrial planets and debris disks, mediated by the giant planets. Strong giant planet instabilities destroy all rocky material - including fully-formed terrestrial planets if the instabilities occur late - along with the icy planetesimals. Stable or weakly unstable systems allow terrestrial planets to accrete and significant dust to be produced in their outer regions. Stars older than ~100 Myr with bright cold dust emission (at ~70 microns) signpost the dynamically calm environments conducive to efficient terrestrial accretion. We predict that while the typical eccentricities of terrestrial planets are small, there should exist a novel class of terrestrial planet system whose single planet undergoes large amplitude oscillations in eccentricity and inclination. By scaling to the observed semimajor axis distribution of giant exoplanets, we estimate that terrestrial exoplanets in the same systems should be a few times more abundant at 0.5 AU than giant or terrestrial exoplanets at 1 AU. Finally, we discuss the Solar System, which appears to be unusual in combining a rich terrestrial planet system with a low dust content.
 Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201322956 Abstract: Dust in debris disks is produced by colliding or evaporating planetesimals, remnants of the planet formation process. Warm dust disks, known by their emission at < 24 micron, are rare (4% of FGK main sequence stars) and especially interesting because they trace material in the region likely to host terrestrial planets, where the dust has a very short dynamical lifetime. Statistical analyses of the source counts of excesses as found with the mid-IR Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) suggest that warm-dust candidates found for the Kepler transiting-planet host-star candidates can be explained by extragalactic or galactic background emission aligned by chance with the target stars. These statistical analyses do not exclude the possibility that a given WISE excess could be due to a transient dust population associated with the target. Here we report Herschel/PACS 100 and 160 micron follow-up observations of a sample of Kepler and non-Kepler transiting-planet candidates' host stars, with candidate WISE warm debris disks, aimed at detecting a possible cold debris disk in any of them. No clear detections were found in any one of the objects at either wavelength. Our upper limits confirm that most objects in the sample do not have a massive debris disk like that in beta Pic. We also show that the planet-hosting star WASP-33 does not have a debris disk comparable to the one around eta Crv. Although the data cannot be used to rule out rare warm disks around the Kepler planet-hosting candidates, the lack of detections and the characteristics of neighboring emission found at far-IR wavelengths support an earlier result suggesting that most of the WISE-selected IR excesses around Kepler candidate host stars are likely due to either chance alignment with background IR-bright galaxies and/or to interstellar emission.
 Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201117049 Abstract: We present models for the formation of terrestrial planets, and the collisional evolution of debris disks, in planetary systems that contain multiple unstable gas giants. We previously showed that the dynamics of the giant planets introduces a correlation between the presence of terrestrial planets and debris disks. Here we present new simulations that show that this connection is qualitatively robust to changes in: the mass distribution of the giant planets, the width and mass distribution of the outer planetesimal disk, and the presence of gas in the disk. We discuss how variations in these parameters affect the evolution. Systems with equal-mass giant planets undergo the most violent instabilities, and these destroy both terrestrial planets and the outer planetesimal disks that produce debris disks. In contrast, systems with low-mass giant planets efficiently produce both terrestrial planets and debris disks. A large fraction of systems with low-mass outermost giant planets have stable gaps between these planets that are frequently populated by planetesimals. Planetesimal belts between outer giant planets may affect debris disk SEDs. If Earth-mass seeds are present in outer planetesimal disks, the disks radially spread to colder temperatures. We argue that this may explain the very low frequency of > 1 Gyr-old solar-type stars with observed 24 micron excesses. Among the (limited) set of configurations explored, the best candidates for hosting terrestrial planets at ~1 AU are stars older than 0.1-1 Gyr with bright debris disks at 70 micron but with no currently-known giant planets. These systems combine evidence for rocky building blocks, with giant planet properties least likely to undergo destructive dynamical evolution. We predict an anti-correlation between debris disks and eccentric giant planets, and a positive correlation between debris disks and terrestrial planets.
 Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1017/S1743921311019983 Abstract: The eccentric orbits of the known extrasolar giant planets provide evidence that most planet-forming environments undergo violent dynamical instabilities. Here, we numerically simulate the impact of giant planet instabilities on planetary systems as a whole. We find that populations of inner rocky and outer icy bodies are both shaped by the giant planet dynamics and are naturally correlated. Strong instabilities -- those with very eccentric surviving giant planets -- completely clear out their inner and outer regions. In contrast, systems with stable or low-mass giant planets form terrestrial planets in their inner regions and outer icy bodies produce dust that is observable as debris disks at mid-infrared wavelengths. Fifteen to twenty percent of old stars are observed to have bright debris disks (at wavelengths of ~70 microns) and we predict that these signpost dynamically calm environments that should contain terrestrial planets.
 Physics , 2015, Abstract: We analyze two new sets of coagulation calculations for solid particles orbiting within the terrestrial zone of a solar-type star. In models of collisional cascades, numerical simulations demonstrate that the total mass, the mass in 1 mm and smaller particles, and the dust luminosity decline with time more rapidly than predicted by analytic models, $\propto t^{-n}$ with $n \approx$ 1.1-1.2 instead of 1. Size distributions derived from the numerical calculations follow analytic predictions at radii less than 0.1 km but are shallower than predicted at larger sizes. In simulations of planet formation, the dust luminosity declines more slowly than in pure collisional cascades, with $n \approx$ 0.5-0.8 instead of 1.1-1.2. Throughout this decline, giant impacts produce large, observable spikes in dust luminosity which last roughly 0.01-0.1 Myr and recur every 1-10 Myr. If most solar-type stars have Earth mass planets with $a \lesssim$ 1-2 AU, observations of debris around 1-100 Myr stars allow interesting tests of theory. Current data preclude theories where terrestrial planets form out of 1000 km or larger planetesimals. Although the observed frequency of debris disks among $\gtrsim$ 30 Myr old stars agrees with our calculations, the observed frequency of warm debris among 5-20 Myr old stars is smaller than predicted.
 Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/805/1/77 Abstract: Luminous debris disks of warm dust in the terrestrial planet zones around solar-like stars are recently found to vary, indicative of ongoing large-scale collisions of rocky objects. We use Spitzer 3.6 and 4.5 {\mu}m time-series observations in 2012 and 2013 (extended to 2014 in one case) to monitor 5 more debris disks with unusually high fractional luminosities ("extreme debris disk"), including P1121 in the open cluster M47 (80 Myr), HD 15407A in the AB Dor moving group (80 Myr), HD 23514 in the Pleiades (120 Myr), HD 145263 in the Upper Sco Association (10 Myr), and the field star BD+20 307 (>1 Gyr). Together with the published results for ID8 in NGC 2547 (35 Myr), this makes the first systematic time-domain investigation of planetary impacts outside the solar system. Significant variations with timescales shorter than a year are detected in five out of the six extreme debris disks we have monitored. However, different systems show diverse sets of characteristics in the time domain, including long-term decay or growth, disk temperature variations, and possible periodicity.
 Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201118306 Abstract: We have bandmerged candidate transiting planetary systems (from the Kepler satellite) and confirmed transiting planetary systems (from the literature) with the recent Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) preliminary release catalog. We have found 13 stars showing infrared excesses at either 12 and/or 22 microns. Without longer wavelength observations it is not possible to conclusively determine the nature of the excesses, although we argue that they are likely due to debris disks around the stars. If confirmed, our sample ~ doubles the number of currently known warm excess disks around old main sequence stars. The ratios between the measured fluxes and the stellar photospheres are generally larger than expected for Gyr-old stars, such as these planetary hosts. Assuming temperature limits for the dust and emission from large dust particles, we derive estimates for the disk radii. These values are comparable to the planet's semi-major axis, suggesting that the planets may be stirring the planetesimals in the system.
 Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21546.x Abstract: We study the evolution of debris created in the giant impacts expected during the final stages of terrestrial planet formation. The starting point is the debris created in a simulation of the Moon-forming impact. The dynamical evolution is followed for 10 Myr including the effects of Earth, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. The spatial distribution evolves from a clump in the first few months to an asymmetric ring for the first 10 kyr and finally becoming an axisymmetric ring by about 1 Myr after the impact. By 10 Myr after the impact 20% of the particles have been accreted onto Earth and 17% onto Venus, with 8% ejected by Jupiter and other bodies playing minor roles. However, the fate of the debris also depends strongly on how fast it is collisionally depleted, which depends on the poorly constrained size distribution of the impact debris. Assuming that the debris is made up of 30% by mass mm-cm-sized vapour condensates and 70% boulders up to 500 km, we find that the condensates deplete rapidly on ~1000 yr timescales, whereas the boulders deplete predominantly dynamically. By considering the luminosity of dust produced in collisions within the boulder-debris distribution we find that the Moon-forming impact would have been readily detectable around other stars in Spitzer 24 micron surveys for around 25 Myr after the impact, with levels of emission comparable to many known hot dust systems. The vapour condensates meanwhile produce a short-lived, optically thick, spike of emission. We use these surveys to make an estimate of the fraction of stars that form terrestrial planets, F_TPF. Since current terrestrial planet formation models invoke multiple giant impacts, the low fraction of 10-100 Myr stars found to have warm (~150 K) dust implies that F_TPF ~<10%.
 Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201219841 Abstract: Context. Little is known about the properties of the warm (Tdust >~ 150 K) debris disk material located close to the central star, which has a more direct link to the formation of terrestrial planets than the low temperature debris dust that has been detected to date. Aims. To discover new warm debris disk candidates that show large 18 micron excess and estimate the fraction of stars with excess based on the AKARI/IRC Mid-Infrared All-Sky Survey data. Methods. We have searched for point sources detected in the AKARI/IRC All-Sky Survey, which show a positional match with A-M dwarf stars in the Tycho-2 Spectral Type Catalogue and exhibit excess emission at 18 micron compared to that expected from the Ks magnitude in the 2MASS catalogue. Results. We find 24 warm debris candidates including 8 new candidates among A-K stars. The apparent debris disk frequency is estimated to be 2.8 +/- 0.6%. We also find that A stars and solar-type FGK stars have different characteristics of the inner component of the identified debris disk candidates --- while debris disks around A stars are cooler and consistent with steady-state evolutionary model of debris disks, those around FGK stars tend to be warmer and cannot be explained by the steady-state model.
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