First results of the SONS survey: Submillimetre detections of debris discs

O. Panic*, W. S. Holland, M. C. Wyatt, G. M. Kennedy, B. C. Matthews, J. F. Lestrade, B. Sibthorpe, J. S. Greaves, J. P. Marshall, N. M. Phillips, J. Tottle

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    New detections of debris discs at submillimetre wavelengths present highly valuable complementary information to prior observations of these sources at shorter wavelengths. Characterization of discs through spectral energy distribution modelling including the submillimetre fluxes is essential for our basic understanding of disc mass and temperature, and presents a starting point for further studies using millimetre interferometric observations. In the framework of the ongoing SCUBA-2 Observations of Nearby Stars, the instrument SCUBA-2 on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope was used to provide measurements of 450 and 850 mu m fluxes towards a large sample of nearby main-sequence stars with debris discs detected previously at shorter wavelengths. We present the first results from the ongoing survey, concerning 850 mu m detections and 450 mu m upper limits towards 10 stars, the majority of which are detected at submillimetre wavelengths for the first time. One, or possibly two, of these new detections is likely a background source. We fit the spectral energy distributions of the star+disc systems with a blackbody emission approach and derive characteristic disc temperatures. We use these temperatures to convert the observed fluxes to disc masses. We obtain a range of disc masses from 0.001 to 0.1 M-circle plus, values similar to the prior dust mass measurements towards debris discs. There is no evidence for evolution in dust mass with age on the main sequence, and indeed the upper envelope remains relatively flat at approximate to 0.5 M-circle plus at all ages. The inferred disc masses are lower than those from disc detections around pre-main-sequence stars, which may indicate a depletion of solid mass. This may also be due to a change in disc opacity, though limited sensitivity means that it is not yet known what fraction of pre-main-sequence stars have discs with dust masses similar to debris disc levels. New, high-sensitivity detections are a path towards investigating the trends in dust mass evolution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1037-1046
    Number of pages10
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Volume435
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct-2013

    Keywords

    • techniques: imaging spectroscopy
    • circumstellar matter
    • submillimetre: planetary systems
    • submillimetre: stars
    • INTERMEDIATE-MASS STARS
    • MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS
    • HERBIG AE SYSTEMS
    • SOLAR-TYPE STARS
    • ALL-SKY SURVEY
    • SUN-LIKE STARS
    • PROTOPLANETARY DISKS
    • CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS
    • EPSILON ERIDANI
    • DUST PROPERTIES

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