How Debris Disks Work

Artist’s conception of a debris disk. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

How do debris disks form?

In the beginning…

Sketch of the process going from star formation, to disk formation, to disk evolution, to debris disk formation.
Illustration of protoplanetary disk dispersal and associated timescales.
Artists impression of debris disk objects colliding and replenishing the small grains in a disk. Image credit: ESA, NASA and M. Kornmesser

Ok, so…

Image of the Fomalhaut debris disk using the ALMA telescope. Image adapted from White et al. 2017
Sketch of the inner Solar System, asteroid belt, and Jupiter’s orbits. Image Credit:
ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser.

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Dr. Jacob White is a software engineer working on atmospheric modeling and satellite data calibration. He has a PhD in astrophysics and is active in scicomm.

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Jacob White

Jacob White

Dr. Jacob White is a software engineer working on atmospheric modeling and satellite data calibration. He has a PhD in astrophysics and is active in scicomm.

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