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A Uniform Analysis of Debris Disk Morphology with the Gemini Planet Imager

Presentation #102.131 in the session Poster Session.

Published onJun 20, 2022
A Uniform Analysis of Debris Disk Morphology with the Gemini Planet Imager

Spatially resolved images of debris disks are necessary to determine disk geometric properties and the scattering phase function (SPF) which quantifies the brightness of the scattered light as a function of phase angle. Using powerful and large ground-based telescopes, images of these systems scattering and emitting light from the stars that orbit have provided insight into the spatial structure of debris disks. We have conducted a Gemini Large and Long Program (LLP) to image 17 bright debris disks around high-infrared excess stars with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) from 1.25-2.2 microns. The sample is composed of stars ranging in ages of 10-500 Myr and spectral types A-G. The disks also represent a diverse sample of sizes and shapes. By analyzing this diverse sample of planetary systems, a more thorough understanding of different phases and conditions of planetary formation can be ascertained. First, spatial properties of the debris disks will be determined, characterizing the sizes and shapes of these systems. An MCMC routine with a radiative transfer scattering model is used to constrain disk geometric properties. After the best estimated spatial properties are determined, a population analysis will be conducted to understand the overall statistics of debris disk characteristics. The next step of the project would be to measure the SPF to determine grain properties of the disk systems. By determining the best-fitting models for these systems, disk scale height, SPFs, and inferred dust properties can be estimated and compared between host stars of different ages and masses and examples from the Solar System.

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