Scattered-Light Imaging of Protoplanetary, Transition, and Debris Disks: The Hubble Space Telescope Legacy


Glenn Schneider (UofA) and the HST/GO 10177, 12228, and EXCEDE Science and Mission Teams.


The University of Arizona, Steward Observatory


The HST coronagraphs (NICMOS, ACS and STIS) have provided unique high-contrast, spatially-resolved, images of protoplanetary, transitional, and debris disks in scattered light at optical and near-IR wavelengths. These images are contributing powerfully to our understanding of the formative, physical and dynamical processes and properties of, and within, these dusty circumstellar systems and their potentially planet forming environments. Here we present a summary of observational results using PSF-template subtracted coronagraphy from (a) the now-completed (HST/GO 10177) disk imaging survey and using NICMOS and (b) an overview of a now on-going follow-on high-resolution imaging program (HST/GO 12228 using STIS) that focuses on the inner disk regions (unobservable with ACS) of eleven debris disk systems with HST observational heritage. We additionally comment on "lessons learned" from HST PSF-subtracted coronagraphy that are particularly germane in the consideration of future space-based instruments and programs designed to study explanatory circumstellar environments (i.e., the disks from which exoplanets arise and dynamically interact over their lifetimes). This work is based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope with support for programs 10177 and 12228 provided by NASA through grants from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Attached documents

Lyot2010proc s5 poster SchneiderG.pdf
PDF, 2.2 Mb