Resolved Millimeter Observations of the HR 8799 Debris Disk

David J. Wilner, Meredith A. MacGregor, Sean M. Andrews, A. Meredith Hughes, Brenda Matthews, Kate Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We present 1.3 mm observations of the debris disk surrounding the HR 8799 multi-planet system from the Submillimeter Array to complement archival ALMA observations that spatially filtered away the bulk of the emission. The image morphology at 3.″8 (150 au) resolution indicates an optically thin circumstellar belt, which we associate with a population of dust-producing planetesimals within the debris disk. The interferometric visibilities are fit well by an axisymmetric radial power-law model characterized by a broad width, ΔR/R ≳ 1. The belt inclination and orientation parameters are consistent with the planet orbital parameters within the mutual uncertainties. The models constrain the radial location of the inner edge of the belt to Rin =104 +8-12 au. In a simple scenario where the chaotic zone of the outermost planet b truncates the planetesimal distribution, this inner edge location translates into a constraint on the planet b mass of M pl = 5.8+7.9 -3.1 M Jup. This mass estimate is consistent with infrared observations of the planet luminosity and standard hot-start evolutionary models, with the uncertainties allowing for a range of initial conditions. We also present new 9 mm observations of the debris disk from the Very Large Array and determine a millimeter spectral index of 2.41 ±0.17. This value is typical of debris disks and indicates a power-law index of the grain size distribution q = 3.27 ±0.10, close to predictions for a classical collisional cascade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number56
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • circumstellar matter
  • stars: individual (HR 8799)
  • submillimeter: planetary systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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