Institute of Astronomy

A New Census of the Faintest Solar Neighborhood Asteroid Belts from WISE

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Stanimir Metchev28 July 2014Across HR 2014 Posters


We present a sensitive search for WISE W3 (12 micron) and W4 (22 micron) excesses from warm optically thin dust around Hipparcos main sequence stars within 75 pc from the Sun. By employing WISE photometry at shorter wavelengths, W1 (3.4 micron) and W2 (4.5 micron) for contemporaneous measurements of the stellar photospheres, we attain optimal sensitivity to >10 micron excesses. We further derive and apply corrections to the fluxes of saturated stars, and are thus for the first time able to detect small excesses even around bright solar neighborhood stars in WISE. Our analysis results in a 45% increase of the number of stars with warm dusty excesses within 75 pc of the Sun, even in the light of numerous recent studies on WISE. In particular, we identify 220 Hipparcos debris disk-host stars within 75 pc, for 108 of which we present the first detection of a debris disk at any wavelength. Our findings also include five new stars with tenuous but significant W3 excesses, adding new members to the small population of known exozodi within 75 pc. This substantial expansion in the solar neighborhood debris disk census allows increasingly accurate analyses of the correlations between stellar, debris disk, and exoplanetary properties.