Studying hot exozodiacal dust with near-infrared interferometry
Absil, Olivier[Université de Liège - ULg > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Astroph. extragalactique et observations spatiales (AEOS) >]
Optical and Infrared Interferometry III
Proceedings of the SPIE, volume 8445
SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012
30/6/2012 - 6/7/2012
[en] Since our first detection of a resolved near-infrared emission around the main sequence star Vega, which we identified as the signature of hot dust grains close to the sublimation limit, we have been systematically searching for similar signatures around a magnitude-limited sample of nearby main sequence stars with the FLUOR instrument at the CHARA array. About 40 targets with spectral types ranging from A to K have been observed within the last 6 years, leading to first statistical trends on the occurence of the bright exozodi phenomenon as a function of spectral type. Our target sample is balanced between stars known to harbour cold dust populations from space-based missions (e.g., Spitzer, Herschel) and stars without cold dust, so that the occurence of abundant hot dust can also be correlated with the presence of large reservoirs of cold planetesimals. In this paper, we present preliminary conclusions from the CHARA/FLUOR survey. We also discuss the first results obtained in 2011/2012 with the new PIONIER visiting instrument at the VLTI, which is now used to extend our survey sample to the Southern hemisphere and to fainter targets. A first measurement of the exozodi/star flux ratio as a function of wavelength within the H band is presented, thanks to the low spectral resolution capability of PIONIER. Finally, we also briefly discuss our plans for extending the survey to fainter targets in the Northern hemisphere with an upgraded version of the FLUOR beam combiner.