AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 82 Star Formation and Early Results from Spitzer
Oral, Thursday, June 3, 2004, 10:00-11:30am, 603/605/607

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[82.02] Signatures of Planets in Circumstellar Debris Disks

A. Moro-Martin (Steward Observatory, University of Arizona), R. Malhotra (University of Arizona)

In anticipation of Spitzer Space Telescope observations of unresolved debris disks, we are interested in studying how the structure carved by putative planets in circumstellar dust disks affects the shape of the disk's spectral energy distribution (SED), and consequently whether the disk SED can be used to infer the presence of planets. We use the Solar System Kuiper Belt dust disk as a case study to investigate the effects of giant planets on the dynamics of dust originating in an outer belt of planetesimals. Our main results are the following: (1) The trapping of dust particles in orbital resonances with the giant planets creates density structures in the dust disk. With present computational techniques, the equilibrium radial density distribution of dust can be accurately estimated, but the azimuthal structure is not predictable in detail because it depends sensitively on the times of residence in the various resonances; the latter are highly variable and unpredictable owing to the underlying strong chaotic dynamics. (2) The gravitational scattering of dust grains by massive planets launches a "wind'' of large dust grains that may contribute significantly to the clearing of cirumstellar debris in planetary systems; it may also significantly affect the particle size distribution of the local ISM of a planetary system. (3) The SED of a dust disk with embedded Solar-System-like planets is fundamentally different from that of one without planets, the former showing a significant decrease of the mid IR flux due to the clearing of dust from the inner 10 AU due to gravitational scattering by Jupiter and Saturn. We have calculated model SEDs (from 1 to 340 microns) and expected SPITZER colors, arising from different planetary systems consisting of an outer belt of planetesimals (similar to the Kuiper Belt) and a single planet with a mass of 1, 3 and 10 MJup and a semimajor axis of 1, 5 and 30 AU.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: amaya@as.arizona.edu

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