Tuesday, July 16, 2013

1307.4015 (J. Bulger et al.)

Sub-millimeter observations of IRAS and WISE debris disk candidates    [PDF]

J. Bulger, T. Hufford, A. Schneider, J. Patience, I. Song, R. J. De Rosa, A. Rajan, C. D. Dowell, D. McCarthy, C. Kulesa
A set of six debris disk candidates identified with IRAS or WISE excesses were observed at either 350 um or 450 um with the CSO. Five of the targets - HIP 51658, HIP 68160, HIP 73512, HIP 76375, and HIP 112460 - have among the largest measured excess emission from cold dust from IRAS in the 25-100 um bands. Single temperature blackbody fits to the excess dust emission of these sources predict 350-450 um fluxes above 240 mJy. The final target - HIP 73165 - exhibits weak excess emission above the stellar photosphere from WISE measurements at 22 um, indicative of a population of warm circumstellar dust. None of the six targets were detected, with 3 sigma upper limits ranging from 51-239 mJy. These limits are significantly below the expected fluxes from SED fitting. Two potential causes of the null detections were explored - companion stars and contamination. To investigate the possible influence of companion stars, imaging data were analyzed from new AO data from the MMT and archival HST, NIRI, and POSS/2MASS data. The images are sensitive to all stellar companions beyond a radius of 1-94 AU. One target is identified as a binary system, but with a separation too large to impact the disk. While the gravitational effects of a companion do not appear to provide an explanation for the submm upper limits, the majority of the IRAS excess targets show evidence for contaminating sources, based on investigation of higher resolution WISE and archival Spitzer and Herschel images. Finally, the exploratory submm measurements of the WISE excess source suggest that the hot dust present around these targets is not matched by a comparable population of colder, outer dust. More extensive and more sensitive Herschel observations of WISE excess sources will build upon this initial example to further define the characteristics of warm debris disks sources.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.4015

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