A COMPREHENSIVE DUST MODEL APPLIED to the RESOLVED BETA PICTORIS DEBRIS DISK from OPTICAL to RADIO WAVELENGTHS

Nicholas P. Ballering, Kate Y.L. Su, George H. Rieke, András Gáspár

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate whether varying the dust composition (described by the optical constants) can solve a persistent problem in debris disk modeling - the inability to fit the thermal emission without overpredicting the scattered light. We model five images of the β Pictoris disk: two in scattered light from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph at 0.58 μm and HST/Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC 3) at 1.16 μm, and three in thermal emission from Spitzer/Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS) at 24 μm, Herschel/PACS at 70 μm, and Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array at 870 μm. The WFC3 and MIPS data are published here for the first time. We focus our modeling on the outer part of this disk, consisting of a parent body ring and a halo of small grains. First, we confirm that a model using astronomical silicates cannot simultaneously fit the thermal and scattered light data. Next, we use a simple generic function for the optical constants to show that varying the dust composition can improve the fit substantially. Finally, we model the dust as a mixture of the most plausible debris constituents: astronomical silicates, water ice, organic refractory material, and vacuum. We achieve a good fit to all data sets with grains composed predominantly of silicates and organics, while ice and vacuum are, at most, present in small amounts. This composition is similar to one derived from previous work on the HR 4796A disk. Our model also fits the thermal spectral energy distribution, scattered light colors, and high-resolution mid-IR data from T-ReCS for this disk. Additionally, we show that sub-blowout grains are a necessary component of the halo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume823
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Keywords

  • circumstellar matter
  • planetary systems
  • stars: individual (beta Pictoris) Supporting material: machine-readable table

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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