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The Exozodiacal Dust Problem for Direct Observations of Exo-Earths

Roberge, Aki and Chen, Christine H. and Millan-Gabet, Rafael and Weinberger, Alycia J. and Hinz, Phil M. and Stapelfeldt, Karl R. and Absil, Olivier and Kuchner, Marc J. and Bryden, Geoffrey (2012) The Exozodiacal Dust Problem for Direct Observations of Exo-Earths. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 124 (918). pp. 799-808. ISSN 0004-6280. doi:10.1086/667218.

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Debris dust in the habitable zones of stars—otherwise known as exozodiacal dust—comes from extrasolar asteroids and comets and is thus an expected part of a planetary system. Background flux from the solar system’s zodiacal dust and the exozodiacal dust in the target system is likely to be the largest source of astrophysical noise in direct observations of terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of nearby stars. Furthermore, dust structures like clumps, thought to be produced by dynamical interactions with exoplanets, are a possible source of confusion. In this article, we qualitatively assess the primary impact of exozodiacal dust on high-contrast direct imaging at optical wavelengths, such as would be performed with a coronagraph. Then we present the sensitivity of previous, current, and near-term facilities to thermal emission from debris dust at all distances from nearby solar-type stars, as well as our current knowledge of dust levels from recent surveys. Finally, we address the other method of detecting debris dust, through high-contrast imaging in scattered light. This method is currently far less sensitive than thermal emission observations, but provides high spatial resolution for studying dust structures. This article represents the first report of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Roberge, Aki0000-0002-2989-3725
Chen, Christine H.0000-0002-8382-0447
Millan-Gabet, Rafael0000-0003-0447-5866
Weinberger, Alycia J.0000-0001-6654-7859
Hinz, Phil M.0000-0002-1954-4564
Stapelfeldt, Karl R.0000-0002-2805-7338
Absil, Olivier0000-0002-4006-6237
Kuchner, Marc J.0000-0002-2387-5489
Additional Information:© 2012 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2012 March 30; accepted 2012 June 7; published 2012 August 17. This work was performed by members of the Debris Disks & Exozodiacal Dust Study Analysis Group (SAG #1), part of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG). Current SAG #1 members are O. Absil, J.-C. Augereau, G. Bryden, J. H. Catanzarite, C. H. Chen, T. P. Greene, P. M. Hinz, M. J. Kuchner, C. M. Lisse, B. A. Macintosh, R. Millan-Gabet, M. C. Noecker, S. T. Ridgway, A. Roberge (Team Lead), R. Soummer, K. R. Stapelfeldt, C. C. Stark, A. J. Weinberger, and M. C. Wyatt.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Subject Keywords:Extrasolar Planets
Issue or Number:918
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121019-135514836
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The Exozodiacal Dust Problem for Direct Observations of Exo-Earths Aki Roberge, Christine H. Chen, Rafael Millan-Gabet, Alycia J. Weinberger, Philip M. Hinz, Karl R. Stapelfeldt, Olivier Absil, Marc J. Kuchner and Geoffrey Bryden Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific , Vol. 124, No. 918 (August 2012), pp. 799-808
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34991
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:22 Oct 2012 15:21
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:11

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