Locating the dust in A star debris discs

Mark Booth, Grant Kennedy, Bruce Sibthorpe, Brenda C. Matthews, Mark C. Wyatt, Gaspard Duchêne, J. J. Kavelaars, David Rodriguez, Jane S. Greaves, Alice Koning, Laura Vican, George H. Rieke, Kate Y L Su, Amaya Moro-Martín, Paul Kalas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Using photometry at just two wavelengths it is possible to fit a blackbody to the spectrum of infrared excess that is the signature of a debris disc. From this the location of the dust can be inferred. However, it is well known that dust in debris discs is not a perfect blackbody. By resolving debris discs we can find the actual location of the dust and compare this to that inferred from the blackbody fit. Using the Herschel Space Observatory we resolved many systems as part of the DEBRIS survey. Here we discuss a sample of 9 discs surrounding A stars and find that the discs are actually located between 1 and 2.5 times further from their star than predicted by blackbody fits to the spectral energy distribution (SED). The variation in this ratio is due to differences in stellar luminosities, location of the dust, size distribution and composition of the dust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9781107045200
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)17439213
ISSN (Electronic)17439221



  • Circumstellar matter
  • Infrared: stars
  • Planetary systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Booth, M., Kennedy, G., Sibthorpe, B., Matthews, B. C., Wyatt, M. C., Duchêne, G., ... Kalas, P. (2013). Locating the dust in A star debris discs. In Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union (S299 ed., Vol. 8, pp. 330-331). (Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union; Vol. 8, No. S299). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1743921313008806