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John H. Debes

ESA/AURA Astronomer, COS/STIS Instrument Team


Here's what's been going on for me!

  • 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.
  • This Website Featured in Optics & Photonics News 5.01.2012 This website was cited in the article "What Makes a Good Website for Scientists?" by Marc Kuchner in Optics & Photonics News. In it, Marc discusses what elements make for a good research website. This website is noted for being "generous and collaborative" by offering tools and slides from talks--click on the Tools Link to see if there's anything useful--don't forget to email me if there's something in particular you'd like to see!
  • Debes & Sigurdsson, 2002 reaches 100 citations 2.20.2012 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!
  • Dead Stars and Doomed Planets article in Astronomy Magazine 2.13.2012 Pick up a copy of the March 2012 issue of Astronomy Magazine to find an article me and Marc Kuchner wrote on the fate of planetary systems during post-main sequence evolution.
  • Invited talk at the Planet around Stellar Remnants Conference 1.23.2012 I am giving an invited talk at the Planets around Stellar Remnants conference, entitled: "Performing autopsies of planetary systems with the WIRED survey and new dynamical models".
  • New Paper! 1.3.2012 The Link Between Planetary Systems, Dusty White Dwarfs and Metal Polluted White Dwarfs , accepted to ApJ. This paper poses the question: "If the Sun turned into a white dwarf, would we see evidence of our planetary system?" The short answer is yes! This paper also follows the tidal disruption of a rubble pile asteroid around a white dwarf and makes a prediction that stars may have up to 800x the mass in their asteroid belts compared to the Solar System.
  • New Paper! 10.26.2011 The WIRED Survey II: Infrared Excesses in the SDSS DR7 White Dwarf Catalog , accepted to ApJS. This paper details dozens of new WD IR excess candidates using the WISE survey. (For full online tables, check out my Tools section.
  • Invited talk at the Signposts of Planets Conference 10.20.2011 I gave an invited review talk at the Signposts of Planets Conference, entitled: "Born Again Disks as Signposts of Planets".
  • New Paper! 09.19.2011 Organic materials in planetary and protoplanetary systems: nature or nurture? , published in A&A. A comprehensive discussion of the presence of organics from the ISM to Solar System objects--as a co-author on this paper, I was responsible for showing new work on HR 4796A (See Section 4.5 of the paper)
  • Poster Presentation at the Extreme Solar Systems II Meeting 09.12.2011 Catch my poster at the Extreme Solar Systems II meeting entitled "Directly Linking Planetary Systems to Dusty and Polluted White Dwarfs". Poster is now up on the site--note that there was an error in Figure 3 that has now been corrected.
  • I've accepted a new position! 08.29.2011 I have just accepted an ESA/AURA scientist position at Space Telescope Science Institute! Welcome to my new webpage! Please bear with me as I populate the pages...
  • Poster Presentation at the 217th AAS Meeting 01.08.2011 Catch my poster Wednesday in Seattle (333.08) entitled "First Results of the WISE IR Excesses around Degenerates (WIRED) Survey"
  • Deadly Tides Press Release Featured in Astronomy Magazine 01.01.2011 A research note article in Astronomy magazine features the work of me and my co-author Brian Jackson.
  • New Paper! 12.22.2010 The WIRED Survey I: A Bright IR Excess Due to Dust Around the Heavily Polluted White Dwarf GALEX J193156.8+011745, accepted to ApJ. A newly discovered WD shows a large dusty excess thanks to the keen eyes of WISE