Kate Y. L. Su

Associate Astronomer

MIPS/IR Group, Room #258

Steward Observatory

University of Arizona

Visiting Scholar

Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA)


  • Diversity in Debris Disks: Snapshots of Planetary System Evolution
  • The Master Sample of Spitzer Debris Disk Measurements
  • NASA LBTI Exozodi Survey: Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Systems (HOSTS)
  • Direct Imaging Exoplanet Survey: The LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH)

Recent News

AsteroidThumbnailSpace Telescopes Find Evidence for Asteroid Belt around Vega. A UA-led team of astronomers has discovered inner asteroid belts and outer comet-filled belts similar to the arrangement found in our solar system around nearby stars Vega and Fomalhaut. A wide gap between the inner and outer belts strongly hints at the existence of yet undiscovered planets circling the bright stars. More...

HR8799diskUnsettled Youth: Spitzer Observes a Chaotic Planetary System. HR 8799, one of the first of two stars with imaged planets, also has a debris disk. New Spitzer imaging of the system reveals a giant halo of fine dust, suggesting a similar kind of orbital hyperactivity that our solar system experienced before the planets found their way to the stable orbits they occupy today. See the complete press release here.

Dog Template Comets Clash at Heat of Helix Nebula. The central star of the Helix Nebula, one of the clostest and best studied planetary nebulae, is a very hot (~20 hotter than our sun) white dwarf, and is surprisedly found to show infrared excesses, indictive of dust around this dead star. The dust must be freshly generated by

Oort-cloud-like comets or Kuiper-Belt-like objects that survived the death of their sun. See the complete press release here.

vega Spitzer Sees Dusty Aftermath of Pulto-Sized Collision. The debris disk around the nearby star Vega is much better than eariler thought. It was probably caused by collision of objects, perhasp as big as the planet Pluto, up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,200 miles) in diameter. See the complete press release here.

Kate Su