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ALMA observations of the multiplanet system 61 Vir: What lies outside super-Earth systems?

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Wyatt, MC 
Kennedy, GM 
Holland, W 
Matrà, L 


A decade of surveys has hinted at a possible higher occurrence rate of debris discs in systems hosting low mass planets. This could be due to common favourable forming conditions for rocky planets close in and planetesimals at large radii. In this paper we present the first resolved millimetre study of the debris disc in the 4.6 Gyr old multiplanet system 61 Vir, combining ALMA and JCMT data at 0.86 mm. We fit the data using a parametric disc model, finding that the disc of planetesimals extends from 30 AU to at least 150 AU, with a surface density distribution of millimetre sized grains with a power law slope of 0.1−0.8+1.1. We also present a numerical collisional model that can predict the evolution of the surface density of millimetre grains for a given primordial disc, finding that it does not necessarily have the same radial profile as the total mass surface density (as previous studies suggested for the optical depth), with the former being flatter. Finally, we find that if the planetesimal disc was stirred at 150 AU by an additional unseen planet, that planet should be more massive than 10 M and lie between 10-20 AU. Lower planet masses and semi-major axes down to 4 AU are possible for eccentricities 0.1.



circumstellar matter, stars: individual: HD 115617, planetary systems, radio continuum: planetary systems

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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Oxford University Press
European Research Council (279973)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/N000927/1)
This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA#2013.1.00359.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada) and NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan) and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. MCW, LM and AS acknowledge the support of the European Union through ERC grant number 279973. GMK is supported by the Royal Society as a Royal Society University Research Fellow. AS is partially supported by funding from the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds. The Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium.