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See detailA peculiar class of debris disks from Herschel/DUNES - A steep fall off in the far infrared
Ertel, S; Wolf, S; Marshall, J P et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 541

Aims. We present photometric data of debris disks around HIP 103389 (HD 199260), HIP 107350 (HN Peg, HD206860), and HIP 114948 (HD 219482), obtained in the context of our Herschel Open Time Key Program ... [more ▼]

Aims. We present photometric data of debris disks around HIP 103389 (HD 199260), HIP 107350 (HN Peg, HD206860), and HIP 114948 (HD 219482), obtained in the context of our Herschel Open Time Key Program DUNES (DUst around NEarby Stars). Methods. We used Herschel/PACS to detect the thermal emission of the three debris disks with a 3 sigma sensitivity of a few mJy at 100 um and 160 um. In addition, we obtained Herschel/PACS photometric data at 70 um for HIP 103389. Two different approaches are applied to reduce the Herschel data to investigate the impact of data reduction on the photometry. We fit analytical models to the available spectral energy distribution (SED) data. Results. The SEDs of the three disks potentially exhibit an unusually steep decrease at wavelengths > 70 um. We investigate the significance of the peculiar shape of these SEDs and the impact on models of the disks provided it is real. Our modeling reveals that such a steep decrease of the SEDs in the long wavelength regime is inconsistent with a power-law exponent of the grain size distribution -3.5 expected from a standard equilibrium collisional cascade. In contrast, a very distinct range of grain sizes is implied to dominate the thermal emission of such disks. However, we demonstrate that the understanding of the data of faint sources obtained with Herschel is still incomplete and that the significance of our results depends on the version of the data reduction pipeline used. Conclusions. A new mechanism to produce the dust in the presented debris disks, deviations from the conditions required for a standard equilibrium collisional cascade (grain size exponent of -3.5), and/or significantly different dust properties would be necessary to explain the potentially steep SED shape of the three debris disks presented. (abridged) [less ▲]

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See detailDarwin-A Mission to Detect and Search for Life on Extrasolar Planets
Cockell, C. S.; Léger, A.; Fridlund, M. et al

in Astrobiology (2009), 9(1)

The discovery of extrasolar planets is one of the greatest achievements of modern astronomy. The detection of planets that vary widely in mass demonstrates that extrasolar planets of low mass exist. In ... [more ▼]

The discovery of extrasolar planets is one of the greatest achievements of modern astronomy. The detection of planets that vary widely in mass demonstrates that extrasolar planets of low mass exist. In this paper, we describe a mission, called Darwin, whose primary goal is the search for, and characterization of, terrestrial extrasolar planets and the search for life. Accomplishing the mission objectives will require collaborative science across disciplines, including astrophysics, planetary sciences, chemistry, and microbiology. Darwin is designed to detect rocky planets similar to Earth and perform spectroscopic analysis at mid-infrared wavelengths (6-20 mum), where an advantageous contrast ratio between star and planet occurs. The baseline mission is projected to last 5 years and consists of approximately 200 individual target stars. Among these, 25-50 planetary systems can be studied spectroscopically, which will include the search for gases such as CO[SUB]2[/SUB], H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, CH[SUB]4[/SUB], and O[SUB]3[/SUB]. Many of the key technologies required for the construction of Darwin have already been demonstrated, and the remainder are estimated to be mature in the near future. Darwin is a mission that will ignite intense interest in both the research community and the wider public. [less ▲]

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