The comets that orbit other stars

Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 4:00pm
Phillips Auditorium

I will talk about recent work on the small bodies that orbit other stars. We see the dust produced in collisions between these bodies as debris disks, and the large bodies when their comae transit their host stars. A few comet transits have now been detected in broadband space-based photometry, and I will outline the first efforts towards these discoveries. These new detections are complimented by prior transient calcium absorption features, and I will show how the acceleration of these lines provides new constraints on the orbits of the transiting bodies around beta Pictoris. Finally, I will show some new detections of warm dust towards Sun-like stars, and discuss why these detections suggest comets as a probable dust source.

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