AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 67 Nearby Star II
Special Session, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, Centennial I/II

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[67.04] Imaging Circumstellar Disks around Nearby Stars

D.W. Koerner (Northern Arizona University)

A wealth of structural detail in disks around nearby stars is revealed by recent advances in high-resolution long-wavelength imaging techniques. Evolved disks appear as extra-solar ring systems with properties that strongly suggest the presence of undetected planetary companions. Narrow ring boundaries, azimuthal asymmetries, offset orbital inclinations,and partial ring arcs are among the commonly observed features that would be ephemeral and rare unless maintained by the dynamical influence of substellar or planetary companions. The observational evidence is reviewed here, including thermal infrared and sub-millimeter images of disks around \beta Pic, Vega, Fomalhaut, \epsilon Eri, HD 98800, 49 Cet, and HR 4796A. Prospects for uncovering the evolutionary significance of these observations is discussed in light of impending SIRTF observations that extend the detection capability to later spectral types and to waning disks in more-distant star-forming regions.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.