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Three New Late-type Stellar Companions to Very Dusty WISE Debris Disks Identified with SPHERE Imaging

Matthews, Elisabeth C. and Hinkley, Sasha and Stapelfeldt, Karl and Vigan, Arthur and Mawet, Dimitri and Crossfield, Ian J. M. and David, Trevor J. and Mamajek, Eric and Meshkat, Tiffany and Morales, Farisa and Padgett, Deborah (2021) Three New Late-type Stellar Companions to Very Dusty WISE Debris Disks Identified with SPHERE Imaging. Astronomical Journal, 161 (2). Art. No. 78. ISSN 1538-3881. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/abcfca.

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Debris disk stars are good targets for high-contrast imaging searches for planetary systems, since debris disks have been shown to have a tentative correlation with giant planets. We selected 20 stars identified as debris disk hosts by the WISE mission, with particularly high levels of warm dust. We observed these with the VLT/SPHERE high-contrast imaging instrument with the goal of finding planets and imaging the disks in scattered light. Our survey reaches a median 5σ sensitivity of 10.4 M_J at 25 au and 5.9 M_J at 100 au. We identified three new stellar companions (HD 18378B, HD 19257B, and HD 133778B): two are mid-M-type stars and one is a late-K or early-M star. Three additional stars have very widely separated stellar companions (all at >2000 au) identified in the Gaia catalog. The stars hosting the three SPHERE-identified companions are all older (≳700 Myr), with one having recently left the main sequence and one a giant star. We infer that the high volumes of dust observed around these stars has been caused by a recent collision between the planets and planetesimal belts in the system, although for the most evolved star, mass loss could also be responsible for the infrared excess. Future mid-infrared spectroscopy or polarimetric imaging may allow the positions and spatial extent of these dust belts to be constrained, thereby providing evidence as to the true cause of the elevated levels of dust around these old systems. None of the disks in this survey is resolved in scattered light.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Matthews, Elisabeth C.0000-0003-0593-1560
Hinkley, Sasha0000-0001-8074-2562
Stapelfeldt, Karl0000-0002-2805-7338
Vigan, Arthur0000-0002-5902-7828
Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
Crossfield, Ian J. M.0000-0002-1835-1891
David, Trevor J.0000-0001-6534-6246
Mamajek, Eric0000-0003-2008-1488
Meshkat, Tiffany0000-0001-6126-2467
Morales, Farisa0000-0001-9414-3851
Padgett, Deborah0000-0001-5334-5107
Alternate Title:Three new late-type stellar companions to very dusty WISE debris disks identified with VLT/SPHERE imaging
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 August 15; revised 2020 October 19; accepted 2020 November 13; published 2021 January 20. We thank the anonymous referee for their thorough reading of this work, which improved the quality of the manuscript. A.V. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 757561). Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programmes 095.C-0426(A), 097.C-1042(A) and 099.C-0734(A). This research has made use of the VizieR catalog access tool, CDS, Strasbourg, France. The original description of the VizieR service was published in A&AS 143, 23. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. Facilities: VLT: Melipal - , WISE - , Gaia. - Software: astropy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013), isochrones (Morton 2015), matplotlib (Hunter 2007), numpy (van der Walt et al. 2011), pandas (McKinney 2020).
Group:Astronomy Department, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)757561
Subject Keywords:Exoplanets ; Extrasolar gas giants ; Debris disks ; Circumstellar disks ; Planetesimals ; Direct imaging ; Coronagraphic imaging
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Exoplanets (498); Extrasolar gas giants (509); Debris disks (363); Circumstellar disks (235); Planetesimals (1259); Direct imaging (387); Coronagraphic imaging (313)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210121-101410608
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Elisabeth C. Matthews et al 2021 AJ 161 78
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107626
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:21 Jan 2021 21:01
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:04

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