36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 43 Spitzer
Special Session, Friday, November 12, 2004, 10:30am-12:00noon, Lewis

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[43.09] Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems: Placing Our Solar System in Context

D. E. Backman (SOFIA / SETI Institute), M. R. Meyer (U. Arizona), L. A. Hillenbrand (Caltech), FEPS (Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems) Spitzer Legacy Team

Over the past 15 years abundant evidence has emerged that most stars are born with circumstellar disks. While consensus is emerging regarding the early evolution of accretion disks (t < 10 Myr), little is known about either the transition from accretion disks to debris disks (10 < t < 100 Myr) corresponding with the completion of planet formation in our system, or about the further evolution of debris disks into exozodiacal dust systems over Gyr timescales. The goals of our Spitzer Legacy Science FEPS program are to trace the evolution of planetary material around nearby stars ranging from young systems finishing stellar accretion to mature systems in which the final architectures of planetary systems should have taken form and collisions between remnant planetesimals may continue to produce observable quantities of dust.

Our strategy is to observe infrared spectral energy distributions and high-resolution spectra to infer the radial distribution of dust and gas surrounding a sample of 330 solar-type stars distributed uniformly in log(age) over 3 Myr to 3 Gyr. This approach is expected to provide insight into the diversity of planetary system architectures, constraining the range of possible outcomes of the planet formation process - thus helping to place our own planetary system in context. We report on the latest results from our program.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://feps.as.arizona.edu/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: dbackman@mail.arc.nasa.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.