ASIAA Summer Students Program
ASIAA Summer Student Program 2021
July 1 - August 31

2021 Project Description

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Constraints on debris dust composition from imaging and emission.

Circumstellar discs
Multi-wavelength Astronomy


Jonathan Marshall, Sascha Zeegers, Lapo Fanciullo
Find out more about supervisors on ASIAA website

Task Description and Goals

Circumstellar debris discs are belts of asteroids and comets, small bodies produced during planet formation in young protostellar discs, that persist for the lifetime of their host star. As such, they denote the existence of planetary systems around other stars. The presence of debris discs is most commonly revealed by excess emission from the host star at infrared or millimetre wavelengths produced by dust grains created in collisions between the small bodies. The intensity of the emission as a function of wavelength holds information on the location and composition of the dust. Combining knowledge of the dust emission with multi-wavelength, spatially resolved imaging to constrain the dust location helps us to better pin down the properties of the dust and what it's made of. Recent results detecting gas in debris discs suggest that the small bodies in cold debris discs are volatile-rich (i.e. icy), which should be reflected in the disc emission, and be included in our models.

Here we will examine a well-characterised sample of debris discs with rich data sets (including Hubble, Spitzer, Herschel, and ALMA data) to determine if icy material is necessary to correctly model their dust emission and disc structure.

The student will:

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