|Confirming a sample of massive and luminous debris disks identified in the Herschel-ATLAS
|Debris disks are the remains of planetary system formation, tracing the existence of planetesimal-sized objects in orbit around main sequence stars. Current and planned surveys of debris disks (including the Herschel Key Projects DEBRIS and DUNES) are deep surveys aimed at characterising the typical population of disks and targeted at samples of a few hundred nearby objects. These deep narrow surveys are relatively insensitive to the rarities in the debris disk population, some of which may be luminous and-or massive disks that have undergone recent disruptive collisional events. We have recently shown that the primarily extragalactic Key Project, the Herschel-ATLAS, can be used as a wide and shallow survey of debris disks by combining its excellent optical coverage and statistical techniques more commonly employed to identify galaxies. The combination of Herschel-ATLAS, DEBRIS and DUNES thus forms a powerful nested tier of surveys that will be sensitive to disks across the spectrum from exosolar analogues to rare disks that cannot be inferred from local populations. In this proposal we seek time to image 23 candidate disks that we have discovered in the Herschel-ATLAS with PACS so that we may confirm them as true debris disks and model their SEDs to extract mass, temperature and fractional luminosity. We will confirm whether these disk candidates are in fact the most luminous disks yet detected.
|Herschel was launched on 14 May 2009! It is the fourth 'cornerstone' mission in the ESA science programme. With a 3.5 m Cassegrain telescope it is the largest space telescope ever launched. It is performing photometry and spectroscopy in approximately the 55-671 µm range, bridging the gap between earlier infrared space missions and groundbased facilities.
|Publisher And Registrant
|European Space Agency
|European Space Agency, 2013, OT2_mthomp01_2, SPG v14.2.0. https://doi.org/10.5270/esa-snakup5