eps Eri sketch





The nearby star epsilon Eridani hosts one known inner planet, an outer Kuiper belt analog, and an inner disk of warm dust. Spitzer/IRS measurements indicate that warm dust is present at distances as small as a few AU from the star. (See figure below, where planets 'A' and 'B' refer to two different suggestions for the orbit of the same inner planet.) Its origin is puzzling, since an asteroid belt that could produce this dust would be unstable because of the known inner planet.

We tested the hypothesis that the observed warm dust is generated by collisions in the outer belt and is transported inward by Poynting-Robertson drag and strong stellar winds.

We found that our model can reproduce the shape and magnitude of the observed spectral energy distribution (SED) as well as the Spitzer/MIPS radial brightness profile. Thus, the observed warm dust in the eps Eri system can indeed stem from the outer ring and be transported inward by PR and stellar wind drag.

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