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Placing Our Solar System in Context: Latest Results from the FEPS Spitzer Legacy Science Program

Wednesday, December 1, 2004
Kim (UA Steward Observatory)

I present latest results from the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems (FEPS) Spitzer Legacy Science Program. FEPS utilizes Spitzer observations of 336 sun-like stars with ages from 3 Myr to 3 Gyr in order to construct spectral energy distributions (SEDs) from 3-160 microns. The SEDs yield constraints on the geometric distribution and mass of circumstellar dust disks. Our main goals are to study the transition from primordial to debris disks at ages < 100 Myr, determine the lifetimes of gas-rich disks in order to constrain theories of gas giant planet formation, and explore the diversity of planetary architectures through studies of the range of observed debris disk systems.

In this talk, I will report on our latest findings including: 1) warm disk systems in young stars (3 - 30 Myr); 2) SEDs and spectra from spectroscopic observations of a few unusual systems; and 3) physical properties of old, cold debris disk systems (100 Myr - 2Gyr) detected with the multi-band imaging photometer for Spitzer (MIPS), built at the University of Arizona (PI: Geroge Rieke) for the Spitzer Space Telescope.

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