The Inner 25 au Debris Distribution in the Eri System

Kate Y.L. Su, James M. De Buizer, George H. Rieke, Alexander V. Krivov, Torsten Löhne, Massimo Marengo, Karl R. Stapelfeldt, Nicholas P. Ballering, William D. Vacca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Debris disk morphology is wavelength dependent due to the wide range of particle sizes and size-dependent dynamics influenced by various forces. Resolved images of nearby debris disks reveal complex disk structures that are difficult to distinguish from their spectral energy distributions. Therefore, multi-wavelength resolved images of nearby debris systems provide an essential foundation to understand the intricate interplay between collisional, gravitational, and radiative forces that govern debris disk structures. We present the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) 35 μm resolved disk image of Eri, the closest debris disk around a star similar to the early Sun. Combining with the Spitzer resolved image at 24 μm and 15-38 μm excess spectrum, we examine two proposed origins of the inner debris in Eri: (1) in situ planetesimal belt(s) and (2) dragged-in grains from the cold outer belt. We find that the presence of in situ dust-producing planetesmial belt(s) is the most likely source of the excess emission in the inner 25 au region. Although a small amount of dragged-in grains from the cold belt could contribute to the excess emission in the inner region, the resolution of the SOFIA data is high enough to rule out the possibility that the entire inner warm excess results from dragged-in grains, but not enough to distinguish one broad inner disk from two narrow belts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number226
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


  • circumstellar matter
  • infrared: stars
  • planetary systems
  • stars: individual (ϵ Eri)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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