NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0275

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Program Information for 2016A-0275


PI: Denis Defrere, U. of Arizona, ddefrere@email.arizona.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory, 933 AVENUE, TUCSON, AZ 85721-0065 USA

CoI: Olivier Absil, Universite de Liege
CoI: Valentin Christiaens, Universidad de Chile
CoI: Vincent Coudé du Foresto, Observatoire de Paris
CoI: Olivier Guyon, U. of Arizona
CoI: Phillip Hinz, U. of Arizona
CoI: Jeremy Lebreton, California Institute of Technology
CoI: Barnaby Norris, Sydney Institute for Astronomy
CoI: Peter Tuthill, Sydney Institute for Astronomy
CoI: Nemanja Jovanovic, NAOJ
CoI: Guillaume Schworer, Observatoire de Paris

Title: The first image of an exozodiacal dust disk

Abstract: Warm debris dust in the habitable zones of stars - otherwise known as exozodiacal dust - comes from extrasolar asteroids and comets and is thus an expected part of a planetary system. While it has been detected around several main sequence stars using spectro-photometry and infrared interferometry, the origin and structure of these dust populations remain nowadays very mysterious, as most of them are much too bright to be produced by the steady-state collisional grinding of a belt of parent bodies (like in our solar system or in most cold debris disks detected so far). Recently, the first interferometric nulling observations with the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer by our team shed new light on an unusually bright system, eta Crv (F2V, 18 pc, 1.4 Gyr). The peak of the dust density is found to be located between 0.2 and 0.8 AU (i.e., 10 and 45 mas at the distance of eta Crv) much closer than previously suggested by spectral modeling. Here, we propose to obtain the first direct image of an exozodiacal disk by focusing on this puzzling system and another emblematic system featuring very abundant warm dust (i.e., HD 69830), taking advantage of the exquisite angular resolution and dynamic range provided by SCExAO/VAMPIRES (the only instrument world-wide that can reach the required performance).

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  GEM-N/VIS -- 1n on Mar 19 2016


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