A detailed characterization of HR 8799's debris disk with ALMA in band 7

Virginie Faramaz, Sebastian Marino, Mark Booth, Luca Matrà, Eric E. Mamajek, Geoffrey Bryden, Karl R. Stapelfeldt, Simon Casassus, Jorge Cuadra, Antonio S. Hales, Alice Zurlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The exoplanetary system of HR 8799 is one of the rare systems in which multiple planets have been directly imaged. Its architecture is strikingly similar to that of the solar system, with the four imaged giant planets surrounding a warm dust belt analogous to the Asteroid Belt, and themselves being surrounded by a cold dust belt analog to the Kuiper Belt. Previous observations of this cold belt with ALMA in Band 6 (1.3 mm) revealed its inner edge, but analyses of the data differ on its precise location. It was therefore unclear whether or not the outermost planet HR 8799 b was dynamically sculpting it. We present here new ALMA observations of this debris disk in Band 7 (340 GHz, 880 μm). These are the most detailed observations of this disk obtained so far, with a resolution of 1″ (40 au) and sensitivity of 9.8 μJy beam−1, which allowed us to recover the disk structure with high confidence. In order to constrain the disk morphology, we fit its emission using radiative transfer models combined with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo procedure. We find that this disk cannot be adequately represented by a single power law with sharp edges. It exhibits a smoothly rising inner edge and smoothly falling outer edge, with a peak in between, as expected from a disk that contains a high-eccentricity component, hence confirming previous findings. Whether this excited population and inner edge shape stem from the presence of an additional planet remains, however, an open question.

Original languageEnglish
Article number271
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


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