Space debris and planet detection

Jane Greaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rings of "space debris" are seen around nearby stars, resulting from the collisions of extrasolar comets. These rings are in fact the brightest aspect of another stellar system after the star itself, with the collisionally generated dust emitting strongly in the far-infrared and submillimetre. Here I investigate what images of such debris tell us about the scale and contents of other planetary systems, and consider questions such as: why similar stars have widely varying comet populations; whether the solar system is unusually "clean"; and the implications of this for life on Earth. The search for planetary disturbances of dust rings is also discussed as a method for the detection of exoplanets on distant orbits. The future holds bright prospects - not just for further discoveries of such "exo-Neptunes", but also for fundamental understanding of the conditions for producing extrasolar analogues to the solar system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-24
Number of pages4
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Volume47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006

Keywords

  • SUBMILLIMETER CAMERA
  • EPSILON ERIDANI
  • BETA-PICTORIS
  • KUIPER-BELT
  • STARS
  • DUST
  • TELESCOPE
  • DISCS
  • SYSTEM
  • DISKS

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