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Exo-Solar planets:

      In this project we apply our effective numerical approach to the high-resolution modeling of the 3D structure and infrared emission of circumstellar dust disks, incorporating all relevant physical processes. Specifically, we examine the resonant structures of a dusty disk induced by the presence of one planet. It is shown that the planet, via resonances and gravitational scattering, produces an asymmetric resonant dust belt with one or more clumps intermittent with one or a few off-center cavities. These features can serve as indicators of a planet embedded in the circumstellar dust disk and, moreover, can be used to determine its major orbital parameters and even the mass of the planet.

Epsilon Eridani & Vega

      The results of our study reveal a remarkable similarity with various types of highly asymmetric circumstellar disks observed with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope around Epsilon Eridani and Vega (see our models on top of Figure and telescopic observations on bottom). The proposed interpretation of the clumps in those disks as being resonant patterns is testable - it predicts the asymmetric design around the star to revolve by ~1 deg/yr about Vega and 0.6-0.8 deg/yr about Epsilon Eri. Our simulations indicate that Vega may have a massive planet ~2 Jupiter mass at a distance >50 AU, and Epsilon Eri may have a less massive planet ~0.2 Jovian mass as a similar distance of 55-60 AU.

Beta Pictoris

      Our dynamical model of the origin of the warping of the Beta Pictoris disk includes the gravitational influence of a planet with a mass of about 10 masses of Earth, at a distance of 70 AU, and a small inclination (2.5 deg) of the planetary orbit to the main dust disk. Figure shows the optical image from the Hubble Space Telescope (STIS, observation of team by Sara Heap, our co-author) and results of our simulation of scattered light from warped disk (bottom). The direct signatures of this planet were discovered on 2002 by Keck telescope observations, paper can be found here.


Nick Gorkavyi, Tanya Taidakova “Planetary system around Vega”, 86.07, 199th AAS Meeting, 6-10 January 2002, Washington DC.
Available here.

Nick Gorkavyi, Sara Heap, Leonid Ozernoy, Tanya Taidakova, John Mather “Indicator of Exo-Solar Planet(s) in the Circumstellar Disk Around Beta Pictoris” In: "Planetary Systems in the Universe: Observation, Formation, and Evolution" (Eds. A.J. Penny, P. Artymowicz, and S.S. Russell). 2000, IAU Symp. 202, ASP 2004.
Available here.

Leonid Ozernoy, Nick Gorkavyi, John Mather, Tanya Taidakova “Signatures of exosolar planets in dust debris disks” ApJ Letters, v. 537, July 10, 2000, p.L147-L151.
Available here.

Nick Gorkavyi, Leonid Ozernoy, John Mather, Sara Heap “Orbital Motion of Resonant Clumps in Dusty Circumstellar Disks as a Signature of an Embedded Planet” In "Disks, Planetesimals, and Planets", Tenerife, Spain (Jan. 24-28, 2000). Eds. F. Garzon et al., ASP.
Available here.

Gorkavyi, N.N., Taidakova, T.A., "Beta Pictoris and Numerical Study of the Giant Planets Hypothesis", Proc. of the 10th IAP Astrophys. Meeting "Circumstellar Dust Disks and Planet Formation", Paris, 4-8 July 1994, Eds. R.Ferlet, A.Vidal-Madjar, Editions Frontieres, Gif sur Yvette Cedex - France, 1995, p.99-104.

Press-releases about our project:

Finding hidden alien planets by reading a swirl of dust, 2000.
Available here.

Alien Worlds Leave Clues In The Dust.
Available here.

Tracce di pianeti nella polvere.
Available here.

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