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Radiative transfer modelling of Haumea’s dust ring

Presentation #112.02 in the session Many Planets, More Rings (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Radiative transfer modelling of Haumea’s dust ring

Over the past decade, a number of ring systems around small bodies in the Solar System have been revealed by stellar occultations. On 21 January 2017, Haumea was discovered to have a ∼ 70 km-wide ring with a radius of 2285 ± 80 km. While the dimensions, orientation and certain optical properties of the ring systems have been inferred from occultation measurements, they do not provide direct information about the material of the ring itself.

Simple models applied previously use condensed parameters like the reflectivity I/F, the visible range optical depth τ, and the radius and width of the ring to estimate the reflected light and thermal emission of the ring. Naturally, in these models the optical properties of the grains are not considered. To give a most plausible description of the Haumea ring we use radiative transfer simulations with the radmc3d code and investigate how different physical properties, size distributions and various compositions (e.g. pure water ice, amorphous carbon, a mixture of pyroxene and olivine) would affect the ring properties.

By modelling the thermal radiation of the ring at visible, infrared, submillimetre and millimetre wavelengths, we can make predictions that can be directly compared with ongoing and planned ground- and space-based observations especially with ALMA and the James Webb Space Telescope that are now able to spatially resolve the ring and detect its emission and reflected light separated from the main body of Haumea.

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