STRW local: Colloquia


New Views of Debris Disks with Millimeter Interferometry (NOVA colloquium)

Date: 29-03-2018
Time: 16:00 h
Author: David Wilner

At least 20% of nearby main sequence stars are surrounded by disks of dusty material attributed to the collisional erosion of planetesimals, analogous to comets in our Solar System. Since these dust-producing planetesimals persist only in stable regions like belts and resonances, the locations, morphologies, and physical properties of dust in these "debris disks" provide probes of planetary system architecture and evolution. Observations at millimeter wavelengths offer a unique window, since the large grains that dominate emission at these long wavelengths trace the underlying planetesimals, unlike the small grains seen in the optical that are rapidly redistributed by stellar radiation and winds. In this talk, I will present recent results on nearby debris disks that take advantage of the capabilities now available with Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) together with other radio interferometers. In particular, I will discuss imaging features that relate to the presence of planets, and tests of the collisional models of planetesimals.