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See detailDynamical Evidence of a Spiral Arm-driving Planet in the MWC 758 Protoplanetary Disk
Ren, Bin; Dong, Ruobing; van Holstein, Rob G. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2020), 898

More than a dozen young stars host spiral arms in their surrounding protoplanetary disks. The excitation mechanisms of such arms are under debate. The two leading hypotheses—companion-disk interaction and ... [more ▼]

More than a dozen young stars host spiral arms in their surrounding protoplanetary disks. The excitation mechanisms of such arms are under debate. The two leading hypotheses—companion-disk interaction and gravitational instability (GI)—predict distinct motion for spirals. By imaging the MWC 758 spiral arm system at two epochs spanning ∼5 yr using the SPHERE instrument on the Very Large Telescope, we test the two hypotheses for the first time. We find that the pattern speeds of the spirals are not consistent with the GI origin. Our measurements further evince the existence of a faint "missing planet" driving the disk arms. The average spiral pattern speed is 0°22 ± 0°03 yr[SUP]-1[/SUP], pointing to a driver at ${172}_{-14}^{+18}$ au around a 1.9 M[SUB]☉[/SUB] central star if it is on a circular orbit. In addition, we witness time-varying shadowing effects on a global scale that are likely originating from an inner disk. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling Debris Disk Evolution
Gaspar, Andras; Apai, Dániel; Augereau, Jean-Charles et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2019), 51(3), 69

Understanding the formation, evolution, and architectures of planetary systems requires detailed knowledge of their components. Debris disks provide a means with which we can study them. The next decade ... [more ▼]

Understanding the formation, evolution, and architectures of planetary systems requires detailed knowledge of their components. Debris disks provide a means with which we can study them. The next decade will deliver a wealth of new information on the nearest systems. Parallel advances in modeling will be necessary to interpret these new datasets. [less ▲]

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See detailFast-moving features in the debris disk around AU Microscopii
Boccaletti, Anthony; Thalmann, Christian; Lagrange, Anne-Marie et al

in Nature (2015), 526

In the 1980s, excess infrared emission was discovered around main- sequence stars; subsequent direct-imaging observations revealed orbiting disks of cold dust to be the source. These `debris disks' were ... [more ▼]

In the 1980s, excess infrared emission was discovered around main- sequence stars; subsequent direct-imaging observations revealed orbiting disks of cold dust to be the source. These `debris disks' were thought to be by-products of planet formation because they often exhibited morphological and brightness asymmetries that may result from gravitational perturbation by planets. This was proved to be true for the β Pictoris system, in which the known planet generates an observable warp in the disk. The nearby, young, unusually active late-type star AU Microscopii hosts a well-studied edge-on debris disk; earlier observations in the visible and near-infrared found asymmetric localized structures in the form of intensity variations along the midplane of the disk beyond a distance of 20 astronomical units. Here we report high- contrast imaging that reveals a series of five large-scale features in the southeast side of the disk, at projected separations of 10-60 astronomical units, persisting over intervals of 1-4 years. All these features appear to move away from the star at projected speeds of 4-10 kilometres per second, suggesting highly eccentric or unbound trajectories if they are associated with physical entities. The origin, localization, morphology and rapid evolution of these features are difficult to reconcile with current theories. [less ▲]

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See detailDoes the Debris Disk around HD 32297 Contain Cometary Grains?
Rodigas, Timothy J.; Debes, John H.; Hinz, Philip M. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2014), 783

We present an adaptive optics imaging detection of the HD 32297 debris disk at L' (3.8 μm) obtained with the LBTI/LMIRcam infrared instrument at the Large Binocular Telescope. The disk is detected at ... [more ▼]

We present an adaptive optics imaging detection of the HD 32297 debris disk at L' (3.8 μm) obtained with the LBTI/LMIRcam infrared instrument at the Large Binocular Telescope. The disk is detected at signal-to-noise ratio per resolution element ~3-7.5 from ~0.''3 to 1.''1 (30-120 AU). The disk at L' is bowed, as was seen at shorter wavelengths. This likely indicates that the disk is not perfectly edge-on and contains highly forward-scattering grains. Interior to ~50 AU, the surface brightness at L' rises sharply on both sides of the disk, which was also previously seen at Ks band. This evidence together points to the disk containing a second inner component located at lsim50 AU. Comparing the color of the outer (50 <r/AU <120) portion of the disk at L' with archival Hubble Space Telescope/NICMOS images of the disk at 1-2 μm allows us to test the recently proposed cometary grains model of Donaldson et al. We find that the model fails to match this disk's surface brightness and spectrum simultaneously (reduced chi-square = 17.9). When we modify the density distribution of the model disk, we obtain a better overall fit (reduced chi-square = 2.87). The best fit to all of the data is a pure water ice model (reduced chi-square = 1.06), but additional resolved imaging at 3.1 μm is necessary to constrain how much (if any) water ice exists in the disk, which can then help refine the originally proposed cometary grains model. Based on observations made at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are: the University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona University system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrosica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; the Ohio State University, and the Research Corporation, on behalf of the University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota and University of Virginia. Based on observations made using the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI). LBTI is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of its Exoplanet Exploration program. [less ▲]

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