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Stars Are Hard: how unconstrained stellar emission is interfering with debris disk studies

Presentation #308.04 in the session “Stars III”.

Published onJun 18, 2021
Stars Are Hard: how unconstrained stellar emission is interfering with debris disk studies

Our understanding of stellar atmospheres and our ability to infer architectures of circumstellar debris disks rely on understanding the emission of stars at sub-millimeter to centimeter wavelengths. When a given debris disk is not resolved or the disk cannot be spatially separated from the host star, we must infer the stellar contribution to the total emission from either existing atmosphere models or observations of debris-poor stars. Observations of main-sequence debris-poor stars at these wavelengths, however, are largely non-existent. This lack of observations means that stellar atmosphere models cannot be informed by data.

In this presentation, we describe how unconstrained stellar emission can interfere with the search for and accurate characterization of debris disks, highlight some recent radio observations seeking to fix this problem, and detail how the PHOENIX and KINICH-PAKAL stellar atmosphere modelling codes are being adapted to reproduce stellar radio spectra.

These results are part of an ongoing observational campaign called The MESAS Project which seeks to Measure the Emission of Stellar Atmosphere at Submillimeter to millimeter wavelengths.


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