Back to Volume
Paper: Resolved Millimeter Emission Belts in the β Pictoris and AU Microscopii Debris Disks
Volume: 476, New Trends in Radio Astronomy in the ALMA Era
Page: 165
Authors: Wilner, D. J.
Abstract: Debris disks around young main-sequence stars provide a window into the planet formation process. Imaging debris disks at millimeter wavelengths is important because emission at these long wavelengths is dominated by large grains that trace best the underlying population of dust-producing planetesimals. I discuss SMA observations that resolve the millimeter emission surrounding the nearby ∼10 Myr-old stars β Pic and AU Mic. For these systems, each of which is viewed nearly edge-on, the observations reveal a belt of millimeter emission surrounding the star with the same geometry as the more extended disks seen in scattered light. Simple modeling shows the locations of these millimeter belts are consistent with reservoirs of planetesimals (“birth rings”) hypothesized to explain the shape of the midplane scattered light surface brightness profiles. For AU Mic, we have followed the SMA study with ALMA Cycle 0 observations that reveal much more detail in the belt of millimeter emission, and also isolate a previously unknown central emission peak that could come from a stellar chromosphere, or perhaps a distinct, inner planetesimal belt.
Back to Volume