PROBING FOR EXOPLANETS HIDING IN DUSTY DEBRIS DISKS: DISK IMAGING, CHARACTERIZATION, AND EXPLORATION WITHHST/STIS MULTI-ROLL CORONAGRAPHY

Glenn Schneider, Carol A. Grady, Dean C. Hines, Christopher C. Stark, John H. Debes, Joe Carson, Marc J. Kuchner, Marshall D. Perrin, Alycia J. Weinberger, John P. Wisniewski, Murray D. Silverstone, Hannah Jang-Condell (+7 others)
2014 Astronomical Journal  
Spatially resolved scattered-light images of circumstellar (CS) debris in exoplanetary systems constrain the physical properties and orbits of the dust particles in these systems. They also inform on co-orbiting (but unseen) planets, systemic architectures, and forces perturbing starlight-scattering CS material. Using HST/STIS optical coronagraphy, we have completed the observational phase of a program to study the spatial distribution of dust in ten CS debris systems, and one "mature"
more » ... e "mature" protoplanetrary disk all with HST pedigree, using PSF-subtracted multi-roll coronagraphy. These observations probe stellocentric distances > 5 AU for the nearest stars, and simultaneously resolve disk substructures well beyond, corresponding to the giant planet and Kuiper belt regions in our Solar System. They also disclose diffuse very low-surface brightness dust at larger stellocentric distances. We present new results inclusive of fainter disks such as HD92945 confirming, and better revealing, the existence of a narrow inner debris ring within a larger diffuse dust disk. Other disks with ring-like sub-structures, significant asymmetries and complex morphologies include: HD181327 with a posited spray of ejecta from a recent massive collision in an exo-Kuiper belt; HD61005 suggested interacting with the local ISM; HD15115 & HD32297, discussed also in the context of environmental interactions. These disks, and HD15745, suggest debris system evolution cannot be treated in isolation. For AU Mic's edge-on disk, out-of-plane surface brightness asymmetries at > 5 AU may implicate one or more planetary perturbers. Time resolved images of the MP Mus proto-planetary disk provide spatially resolved temporal variability in the disk illumination. These and other new images from our program enable direct inter-comparison of the architectures of these exoplanetary debris systems in the context of our own Solar System.
doi:10.1088/0004-6256/148/4/59 fatcat:jovm7fn5gvbvfjv3dmvegrtomy