Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Meng H.Y.A., Rieke G.H., Su K.Y.L., Ivanov V.D., Vanzi L. and Rujopakam W. (2012)

Variability of the infrared excess of the extreme debris disks. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/751/1/L17

Revista : Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volumen : 751
Número : 1
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Debris disks with extremely large infrared excesses (fractional luminosities >10–2) are rare. Those with ages between 30 and 130 Myr are of interest because their evolution has progressed well beyond that of protoplanetary disks (which dissipate with a timescale of order 3 Myr), yet they represent a period when dynamical models suggest that terrestrial planet building may still be progressing through large, violent collisions that could yield large amounts of debris and large infrared excesses. For example, our Moon was formed through a violent collision of two large protoplanets during this age range. We report two disks around the solar-like stars ID8 and HD 23514 in this age range where the 24 μm infrared excesses vary on timescales of a few years, even though the stars are not variable in the optical. Variations this rapid are difficult to understand if the debris is produced by collisional cascades, as it is for most debris disks. It is possible that the debris in these two systems arises in part from condensates from silicate-rich vapor produced in a series of violent collisions among relatively large bodies. If their evolution is rapid, the rate of detection of extreme excesses would indicate that major collisions may be relatively common in this age range.