Research Unit “Debris Disks in Planetary Systems”

Which debris disks may harbor planets?

To be observable as a debris disk, a planetesimal belt must be stirred, i.e., the relative velocities of planetesimals must be sufficienly high for for a collisional dust production. Stirring may come either from large planetesimals themselves ('self-stirring') or from planets orbiting in the disk cavity. We have computed the timescales of self-stirring (filled areas in the figure) and compared them to a sample of prominent debris disks with known ages and radial extents (horizontal bars). Disks with outer regions lying below the filled areas are incompatible with being self-stirred and thus require planets as stirrers. In our sample, these are 49 Cet, HD 95086, and HR 8799, of which the latter two are already known to have planets.

Details: https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.05431

 

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