On the nature of the material surrounding VEGA

D. A. Harper, R. F. Loewenstein, J. A. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Observations of Vega at 193 microns indicate that the far-infrared emission from the circumstellar material discovered by IRAS (Aumann et al. 1984) may decline more rapidly than a Planck spectrum at wavelengths greater than 100 microns. This suggests that the emitting particles may be smaller than the millimeter-sized objects proposed by Aumann et al. (1984). Small grains would be driven from the stellar system by radiation pressure, or their orbits would decay as a result of Poynting -Robertson drag. In order to maintain a state of dynamic equilibrium, a continuous supply of new particles would be required. It is hypothesized that the small grains are ejected by sublimation of volatile material from larger comet-like bodies in a partially coalesced preplanetary disk. A reservoir containing less than a few hundred earth masses could sustain the source over the lifetime of the star.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)808-812
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1984
Externally publishedYes


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