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See detailThe Inner Debris Structure in the Fomalhaut Planetary System
Su, Kate Y. L.; Rieke, George H.; Defrere, Denis ULg et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2016), 818

Fomalhaut plays an important role in the study of debris disks and small bodies in other planetary systems. The proximity and luminosity of the star make key features of its debris, like the water ice ... [more ▼]

Fomalhaut plays an important role in the study of debris disks and small bodies in other planetary systems. The proximity and luminosity of the star make key features of its debris, like the water ice line, accessible. Here we present ALMA cycle 1, 870 μm (345 GHz) observations targeted at the inner part of the Fomalhaut system with a synthesized beam of 0.″45 × 0.″37 (˜3 AU linear resolution at the distance of Fomalhaut) and an rms of 26 μJy beam[SUP]-1[/SUP]. The high angular resolution and sensitivity of the ALMA data enable us to place strong constraints on the nature of the warm excess revealed by Spitzer and Herschel observations. We detect a point source at the star position with a total flux consistent with thermal emission from the stellar photosphere. No structures that are brighter than 3σ are detected in the central 15 AU × 15 AU region. Modeling the spectral energy distribution using parameters expected for a dust-producing planetesimal belt indicates a radial location in the range of ˜8-15 AU. This is consistent with the location where ice sublimates in Fomalhaut, i.e., an asteroid-belt analog. The 3σ upper limit for such a belt is <1.3 mJy at 870 μm. We also interpret the 2 and 8-13 μm interferometric measurements to reveal the structure in the inner 10 AU region as dust naturally connected to this proposed asteroid belt by Poynting-Robertson drag, dust sublimation, and magnetically trapped nanograins. Fomalhaut is a triple system; here we refer to the Fomalhaut planetary system as the one around the primary star Fomalhaut A. [less ▲]

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See detailThe LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey: Orbit and Component Masses of the Intermediate-age, Late-type Binary NO UMa
Schlieder, Joshua E.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Maire, Anne-Lise et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2016), 818

We present high-resolution Large Binocular Telescope LBTI/LMIRcam images of the spectroscopic and astrometric binary NO UMa obtained as part of the LBT Interferometer Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt ... [more ▼]

We present high-resolution Large Binocular Telescope LBTI/LMIRcam images of the spectroscopic and astrometric binary NO UMa obtained as part of the LBT Interferometer Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt exoplanet imaging survey. Our H-, K[SUB]s[/SUB]-, and L‧-band observations resolve the system at angular separations <0.″09. The components exhibit significant orbital motion over a span of ∼7 months. We combine our imaging data with archival images, published speckle interferometry measurements, and existing spectroscopic velocity data to solve the full orbital solution and estimate component masses. The masses of the K2.0 ± 0.5 primary and K6.5 ± 0.5 secondary are 0.83 ± 0.02 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB] and 0.64 ± 0.02 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB], respectively. We also derive a system distance of d = 25.87 ± 0.02 pc and revise the Galactic kinematics of NO UMa. Our revised Galactic kinematics confirm NO UMa as a nuclear member of the ∼500 Myr old Ursa Major moving group, and it is thus a mass and age benchmark. We compare the masses of the NO UMa binary components to those predicted by five sets of stellar evolution models at the age of the Ursa Major group. We find excellent agreement between our measured masses and model predictions with little systematic scatter between the models. NO UMa joins the short list of nearby, bright, late-type binaries having known ages and fully characterized orbits. Based on data obtained with the STELLA robotic telescope in Tenerife, an AIP facility jointly operated by AIP and IAC. [less ▲]

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See detailModels of the η Corvi Debris Disk from the Keck Interferometer, Spitzer, and Herschel
Lebreton, J.; Beichman, C.; Bryden, G. et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2016), 817

Debris disks are signposts of analogs to small-body populations of the solar system, often, however, with much higher masses and dust production rates. The disk associated with the nearby star η Crv is ... [more ▼]

Debris disks are signposts of analogs to small-body populations of the solar system, often, however, with much higher masses and dust production rates. The disk associated with the nearby star η Crv is especially striking, as it shows strong mid- and far-infrared excesses despite an age of ∼1.4 Gyr. We undertake constructing a consistent model of the system that can explain a diverse collection of spatial and spectral data. We analyze Keck Interferometer Nuller measurements and revisit Spitzer and additional spectrophotometric data, as well as resolved Herschel images, to determine the dust spatial distribution in the inner exozodi and in the outer belt. We model in detail the two-component disk and the dust properties from the sub-AU scale to the outermost regions by fitting simultaneously all measurements against a large parameter space. The properties of the cold belt are consistent with a collisional cascade in a reservoir of ice-free planetesimals at 133 AU. It shows marginal evidence for asymmetries along the major axis. KIN enables us to establish that the warm dust consists of a ring that peaks between 0.2 and 0.8 AU. To reconcile this location with the ∼400 K dust temperature, very high albedo dust must be invoked, and a distribution of forsterite grains starting from micron sizes satisfies this criterion, while providing an excellent fit to the spectrum. We discuss additional constraints from the LBTI and near-infrared spectra, and we present predictions of what James Webb Space Telescope can unveil about this unusual object and whether it can detect unseen planets. [less ▲]

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See detailDoes the Debris Disk around HD 32297 Contain Cometary Grains?
Rodigas, Timothy J.; Debes, John H.; Hinz, Philip M. et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2014), 783

We present an adaptive optics imaging detection of the HD 32297 debris disk at L' (3.8 μm) obtained with the LBTI/LMIRcam infrared instrument at the Large Binocular Telescope. The disk is detected at ... [more ▼]

We present an adaptive optics imaging detection of the HD 32297 debris disk at L' (3.8 μm) obtained with the LBTI/LMIRcam infrared instrument at the Large Binocular Telescope. The disk is detected at signal-to-noise ratio per resolution element ~3-7.5 from ~0.''3 to 1.''1 (30-120 AU). The disk at L' is bowed, as was seen at shorter wavelengths. This likely indicates that the disk is not perfectly edge-on and contains highly forward-scattering grains. Interior to ~50 AU, the surface brightness at L' rises sharply on both sides of the disk, which was also previously seen at Ks band. This evidence together points to the disk containing a second inner component located at lsim50 AU. Comparing the color of the outer (50 <r/AU <120) portion of the disk at L' with archival Hubble Space Telescope/NICMOS images of the disk at 1-2 μm allows us to test the recently proposed cometary grains model of Donaldson et al. We find that the model fails to match this disk's surface brightness and spectrum simultaneously (reduced chi-square = 17.9). When we modify the density distribution of the model disk, we obtain a better overall fit (reduced chi-square = 2.87). The best fit to all of the data is a pure water ice model (reduced chi-square = 1.06), but additional resolved imaging at 3.1 μm is necessary to constrain how much (if any) water ice exists in the disk, which can then help refine the originally proposed cometary grains model. Based on observations made at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are: the University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona University system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrosica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; the Ohio State University, and the Research Corporation, on behalf of the University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota and University of Virginia. Based on observations made using the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI). LBTI is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of its Exoplanet Exploration program. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the Benchmark Binary NLTT 33370
Schlieder, Joshua E.; Bonnefoy, Mickaël; Herbst, T. M. et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2014), 783

We confirm the binary nature of the nearby, very low mass (VLM) system NLTT 33370 with adaptive optics imaging and present resolved near-infrared photometry and integrated light optical and near-infrared ... [more ▼]

We confirm the binary nature of the nearby, very low mass (VLM) system NLTT 33370 with adaptive optics imaging and present resolved near-infrared photometry and integrated light optical and near-infrared spectroscopy to characterize the system. VLT-NaCo and LBTI-LMIRCam images show significant orbital motion between 2013 February and 2013 April. Optical spectra reveal weak, gravity-sensitive alkali lines and strong lithium 6708 Å absorption that indicate the system is younger than field age. VLT-SINFONI near-IR spectra also show weak, gravity-sensitive features and spectral morphology that is consistent with other young VLM dwarfs. We combine the constraints from all age diagnostics to estimate a system age of ~30-200 Myr. The 1.2-4.7 μm spectral energy distribution of the components point toward T [SUB]eff[/SUB] = 3200 ± 500 K and T [SUB]eff[/SUB] = 3100 ± 500 K for NLTT 33370 A and B, respectively. The observed spectra, derived temperatures, and estimated age combine to constrain the component spectral types to the range M6-M8. Evolutionary models predict masses of 97^{+41}_{-48}\,M_{Jup} and 91^{+41}_{-44}\,M_{Jup} from the estimated luminosities of the components. KPNO-Phoenix spectra allow us to estimate the systemic radial velocity of the binary. The Galactic kinematics of NLTT 33370AB are broadly consistent with other young stars in the solar neighborhood. However, definitive membership in a young, kinematic group cannot be assigned at this time and further follow-up observations are necessary to fully constrain the system's kinematics. The proximity, age, and late-spectral type of this binary make it very novel and an ideal target for rapid, complete orbit determination. The system is one of only a few model calibration benchmarks at young ages and VLMs. [less ▲]