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The HOSTS survey for exo-zodiacal dust: preliminary results and future prospects

Ertel, S. and Beichman, C. and Millan-Gabet, R. (2018) The HOSTS survey for exo-zodiacal dust: preliminary results and future prospects. In: Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave. Proceedings of SPIE. No.10698. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 106981V. ISBN 9781510619494.

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The presence of large amounts of dust in the habitable zones of nearby stars is a significant obstacle for future exo-Earth imaging missions. We executed the HOSTS (Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Systems) survey to determine the typical amount of such exozodiacal dust around a sample of nearby main sequence stars. The majority of the data have been analyzed and we present here an update of our ongoing work. Nulling interferometry in N band was used to suppress the bright stellar light and to detect faint, extended circumstellar dust emission. We present an overview of the latest results from our ongoing work. We find seven new N band excesses in addition to the high confidence confirmation of three that were previously known. We find the first detections around Sun-like stars and around stars without previously known circumstellar dust. Our overall detection rate is 23%. The inferred occurrence rate is comparable for early type and Sun-like stars, but decreases from 71^(+11)_(-20)% for stars with previously detected mid- to far-infrared excess to 11^(+9)_(-4)% for stars without such excess, confirming earlier results at high confidence. For completed observations on individual stars, our sensitivity is five to ten times better than previous results. Assuming a lognormal luminosity function of the dust, we find upper limits on the median dust level around all stars without previously known mid to far infrared excess of 11.5 zodis at 95% confidence level. The corresponding upper limit for Sun-like stars is 16 zodis. An LBTI vetted target list of Sun-like stars for exo-Earth imaging would have a corresponding limit of 7.5 zodis. We provide important new insights into the occurrence rate and typical levels of habitable zone dust around main sequence stars. Exploiting the full range of capabilities of the LBTI provides a critical opportunity for the detailed characterization of a sample of exozodiacal dust disks to understand the origin, distribution, and properties of the dust.

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription
Ertel, S.0000-0002-2314-7289
Beichman, C.0000-0002-5627-5471
Millan-Gabet, R.0000-0003-0447-5866
Additional Information:© 2018 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of its Exoplanet Exploration Program. The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are: The University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University, and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota and University of Virginia. This research has made extensive use of the SIMBAD database [56] and the VizieR catalogue access tool [57], both operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France, of Python, including the NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib [58], and Astorpy [59] libraries, and of NASA’s Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services. GMK is supported by the Royal Society as a Royal Society University Research Fellow. AS is partially supported by funding from the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds. The Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. JMS is supported by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF2-51398.001-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS5-26555.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Center for Exoplanets and Habitable WorldsUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Eberly College of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51398.001-A
Subject Keywords:Exo-zodiacal dust, Interferometry, High contrast imaging, Habitable zone, Exo-Earth imaging, Mid-infrared
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:10698
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180814-145459970
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:S. Ertel, G. M. Kennedy, D. Defrère, P. Hinz, A. B. Shannon, B. Mennesson, W. C. Danchi, C. Gelino, J. M. Hill, W. F. Hoffman, G. Rieke, E. Spalding, J. M. Stone, A. Vaz, A. J. Weinberger, P. Willems, O. Absil, P. Arbo, V. P. Bailey, C. Beichman, G. Bryden, E. C. Downey, O. Durney, S. Esposito, A. Gaspar, P. Grenz, C. A. Haniff, J. M. Leisenring, L. Marion, T. J. McMahon, R. Millan-Gabet, M. Montoya, K. M. Morzinski, E. Pinna, J. Power, A. Puglisi, A. Roberge, E. Serabyn, A. J. Skemer, K. Stapelfeldt, K. Y. L. Su, V. Vaitheeswaran, M. C. Wyatt, "The HOSTS survey for exo-zodiacal dust: preliminary results and future prospects", Proc. SPIE 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 106981V (24 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2313685;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:88800
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Aug 2018 14:06
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:29

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