How do planets form? What happens to a planetary system when its central star dies? These two questions drive the bulk of my research in Astronomy. I think answering these questions will tell us important things about how many habitable planets reside in our Milky Way and the ultimate fate of the Solar System.
You can contact me by email: "debes" at "stsci.edu", or at my office: (410)338-4782
Check here for the latest news related to my research.
New Paper!9.24.2012 The WIRED Survey III: An Infrared Excess around the Eclipsing Post-Common Envelope Binary SDSS J030308.35+005443.7 , accepted to ApJ. This paper reports the remarkable discovery by WISE of a circumbinary dust disk around an eclipsing post-common envelope binary. This system is truly unique and wonderful opportunity to study dust around binary post-main sequence stars.
New Paper!9.01.2012 Keck/NIRC2 Imaging of the Warped, Asymmetric Debris Disk around HD 32297 , accepted to ApJ. In this paper, my collaborators and I study the warped debris disk around HD 32297 with ALOCI processed Keck/NIRC data. We recover the disk midplane with high S/N and find that simple scattering models have a hard time reproducing the scattered light we observe. Both scattered light modeling and SED modeling show evidence for multiple debris belts, and the possible signature of an offset. For this paper I was primarily responsible for the scattered light modeling.
New Paper!7.01.2012 Detection of Weak Circumstellar Gas around the DAZ White Dwarf WD 1124-293: Evidence for the Accretion of Multiple Asteroids , accepted to ApJ. This paper presents high quality Magellan spectroscopy of the metal-polluted WD WD 1124-293, in which we discover a weak circumstellar absorption line, implying that the metal accretion is consistent with having come from a small disk of sublimated dust. This discovery is important because it directly links metal-polluted white dwarfs to their dusty white dwarf cousins with IR excesses.
Debes & Sigurdsson, 2002 reaches 100 citations2.20.2012 One of my first papers as a graduate student and the subject of my second year project, "Are There Unstable Planetary Systems around White Dwarfs?", has just broken the 100 citation count. My overall H index is 11. Thanks to all the researchers who have read my work and used it as a foundation to discover new things!