New Discoveries With M Dwarfs, Peter Pan Disks, And More (speaker: Steven Silverberg)

Thursday October 25, 2018 3:00 pm
Marlar Lounge 37-252

In its four years since launch, has led to many new discoveries in the field of circumstellar disks. This presentation gives a brief overview of the project, and highlights our new results. Using our website classifications and additional follow-up observations, we find that only 7.9% of WISE infrared excesses are true disk candidates. We also highlight new data on WISEA J080822.18-644357.3, a 45-Myr primordial disk around an M5 star in the Carina association first identified by Disk Detective in 2016. We find accretion rates to be variable on 24-hour timescales, based on near-IR spectroscopy. We also note flare activity and potential accretion bursts in nine nights of ground-based high-cadence optical photometry. We use J0808 as the prototypical example of “Peter Pan” disks, long-lived accretion disks around mid-M or later stars. We explore possible origin scenarios for Peter Pan disks, including longer lives for primordial disks around mid-M stars than previously thought, discuss methods of testing their validity, and consider the implications of an extended disk dissipation and planet formation timescale for mid-M dwarfs.