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Constraining the presence of giant planets in two-belt debris disc systems with VLT/SPHERE direct imaging and dynamical arguments

Matthews, Elisabeth and Hinkley, Sasha and Vigan, Arthur and Kennedy, Grant and Sutlieff, Ben and Wickenden, Dawn and Treves, Sam and David, Trevor and Meshkat, Tiffany and Mawet, Dimitri and Morales, Farisa and Shannon, Andrew and Stapelfeldt, Karl (2018) Constraining the presence of giant planets in two-belt debris disc systems with VLT/SPHERE direct imaging and dynamical arguments. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 480 (2). pp. 2757-2783. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/sty1778.

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Giant, wide-separation planets often lie in the gap between multiple, distinct rings of circumstellar debris: this is the case for the HR 8799 and HD 95086 systems, and even the Solar system where the Asteroid and Kuiper belts enclose the four gas and ice giants. In the case that a debris disc, inferred from an infrared excess in the SED, is best modelled as two distinct temperatures, we infer the presence of two spatially separated rings of debris. Giant planets may well exist between these two belts of debris, and indeed could be responsible for the formation of the gap between these belts. We observe 24 such two-belt systems using the VLT/SPHERE high-contrast imager, and interpret our results under the assumption that the gap is indeed formed by one or more giant planets. A theoretical minimum mass for each planet can then be calculated, based on the predicted dynamical time-scales to clear debris. The typical dynamical lower limit is ∼0.2M_J in this work, and in some cases exceeds 1M_J. Direct imaging data, meanwhile, are typically sensitive to planets down to ∼3.6M_J at 1 arcsec, and 1.7M_J in the best case. Together, these two limits tightly constrain the possible planetary systems present around each target, many of which will be detectable with the next generation of high-contrast imagers.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hinkley, Sasha0000-0001-8074-2562
Vigan, Arthur0000-0002-5902-7828
Kennedy, Grant0000-0001-6831-7547
David, Trevor0000-0001-6534-6246
Meshkat, Tiffany0000-0001-6126-2467
Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
Morales, Farisa0000-0001-9414-3851
Stapelfeldt, Karl0000-0002-2805-7338
Additional Information:© 2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2018 July 3. Received 2018 July 2; in original form 2018 April 11. EM thanks the University of Exeter for support through a Ph.D. studentship. 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. This work is based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme IDs 095.C-0549, 095.C-0838, 097.C-0949, 097.C-1019, and 099.C-0734. This work has made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC; Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of ExeterUNSPECIFIED
Center for Exoplanets and Habitable WorldsUNSPECIFIED
Eberly College of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
Gaia Multilateral AgreementUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:planet-disc interactions, circumstellar matter, planetary systems
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181205-163501986
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Elisabeth Matthews, Sasha Hinkley, Arthur Vigan, Grant Kennedy, Ben Sutlieff, Dawn Wickenden, Sam Treves, Trevor David, Tiffany Meshkat, Dimitri Mawet, Farisa Morales, Andrew Shannon, Karl Stapelfeldt; Constraining the presence of giant planets in two-belt debris disc systems with VLT/SPHERE direct imaging and dynamical arguments, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 480, Issue 2, 21 October 2018, Pages 2757–2783,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91530
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:06 Dec 2018 15:48
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:42

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