LESIA - Observatoire de Paris

Exozodiacal dust: origin and impact on the study of extrasolar terrestrial planets

Friday 21 October 2011, by Denis Defrère (Université de Liège)

Tuesday 8 November 2011 à 11h00 , Lieu : Salle de conférence du bât. 17

Most debris disks resolved so far show extended structures located at tens to hundreds AU from the host star, and are more analogous to our solar system’s dusty Kuiper belt than to the AU-scale zodiacal disk inside our solar system’s asteroid belt. Over the last few years however, a few hot debris disks have been resolved around a handful of main sequence stars thanks to the advance of infrared interferometry. The grain populations derived from these observations are quite intriguing, as they point toward very high dust replenishment rates, high cometary activity or major collisional events. In this talk, we review the ongoing effort to detect bright exozodiacal disks with precision near-infrared interferometry at the CHARA array with the FLUOR instrument. We discuss preliminary statistical trends on the occurrence of bright exozodiacal disks around nearby main sequence stars and show how this information can be used to constrain the global architecture and evolution of debris disks. Finally, we briefly address near-term prospects by discussing the ongoing instrumental developments of the FLUOR instrument.

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