AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 11 Brown Dwarfs and Exoplanets
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[11.25] A Search for Substellar Companions of the Debris Disk Star \epsilon Eridani with the Spitzer Space Telescope

M. Marengo, T. Megeath, G. Fazio (CfA), D. Backman (NASA Ames), K. R. Stapelfeldt, M. Warner, C. Beichman (JPL), K. Su, J. Stansberry, G. Rieke (Steward Observatory), D. Hines (SSI)

\epsilon Eridani is one of the ``Fabulous Four'' debris disk stars discovered by IRAS, along with Vega, Beta Pictoris and Fomalhaut. Observations with the Multiband Imaging Photometer (MIPS) and the InfraRed Spectrograph (IRS) of the Spitzer Space Telescope have confirmed the presence of the disks, and provided evidences for asymmetries in the disk structure that may be induced by the gravitational perturbations of substellar companions.

We will present a search for substellar companions of \epsilon Eridani and the other ``Fabulous Four'' stars which is being carried on with the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) of the Spitzer Space Telescope. The optical quality and high dynamic range of the camera is specially suited for the search of faint companions around bright stars, and its four bandpasses at 3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8.0 \mum are optimized to search for substellar objects by detecting their CO and CH4 spectral features. We will discuss the special techniques of Point Spread Function subtraction we have developed for this project, allowing to detect sources 106 fainter than the central star as close as 30'' from the star, and the preliminary results for this search.

Based on observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope (operated by JPL/Caltech, NASA Contract 1407) with support provided through NASA Contract 960541 from JPL/Caltech.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.