Project P4: Observational appearance of debris disks (ITAP/Kiel)


The goal of this project is to develop observational strategies that allow the verification of predictions made concerning the spatial structure, underlying dynamical processes, and optical properties of the dust in debris disks. The project is motivated by the fact that now and during the runtime of this Research Unit new major observatories and instruments will become available that will provide high-sensitivity, high-angular resolution capabilities required for observational debris disk studies. They will allow one to go far beyond the legacy of debris disk studies performed with the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Herschel Space Observatory during the past decade. We will investigate the potential of multi-wavelength, spatially resolved observations to constrain the spatial distribution and optical properties of various dust phases, characterized by their size, chemical composition, and internal structure (compact/porous, amorphous/crystalline, single component/multi-layer). Moreover, the feasibility to verify the predictions for the above quantities derived in the other projects of the Research Unit will be investigated (primarily projects P1/P2: disk structure; P5/P6/P7/P8: dust properties). Furthermore, by providing instantaneous feedback to these teams, the strategy of their investigations can be optimized.