The Apparent Absence of Forward Scattering in the HD 53143 Debris Disk

Christopher C. Stark, Bin Ren, Meredith A. MacGregor, Ward S. Howard, Spencer A. Hurt, Alycia J. Weinberger, Glenn Schneider, Elodie Choquet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HD 53143 is a mature Sun-like star and host to a broad disk of dusty debris, including a cold outer ring of planetesimals near 90 au. Unlike most other inclined debris disks imaged at visible wavelengths, the cold disk around HD 53143 appears as disconnected “arcs” of material, with no forward-scattering side detected to date. We present new, deeper Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph coronagraphic observations of the HD 53143 debris disk and show that the forward-scattering side of the disk remains undetected. By fitting our KLIP-reduced observations via forward modeling with an optically thin disk model, we show that fitting the visible wavelength images with an azimuthally symmetric disk with unconstrained orientation results in an unphysical edge-on orientation that is at odds with recent ALMA observations, while constraining the orientation to that observed by ALMA results in nearly isotropically scattering dust. We show that the HD 53143 host star exhibits significant stellar variations due to spot rotation and revisit age estimates for this system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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