Institute of Astronomy

Highlighting the dynamical interaction between planets and planetesimal belts with ALMA

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Luca Ricci29 July 2014Across HR 2014 Talks


Debris disks surrounding Main Sequence stars trace dust that is produced when planets gravitationally stir a population of kilometer-sized planetesimals, which subsequently collide and are ground down to micron-sized particles. Mapping the structure of debris disks is important since the spatial distribution of dust and larger bodies is a powerful diagnostic to investigate the interaction between planetary systems and a belt of planetesimals. I will present the results of recent ALMA observations of the debris disk surrounding HD 107146, a young ~ 100 Myr old nearby Solar analog. The large sub-mm flux and face-on geometry make this object an ideal candidate to look for signposts of planets-disk dynamical interaction around a young Solar-like star. I will use this example to show how ALMA already in Cycle 2 can highlight structures, such as radial gaps, azimuthal asymmetries, extrasolar Trojans, which will shed light on the physical processes which shape the architecture of planetary systems, including our own.