AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 28 Formation and Fate of Stardust
Topical Session, Tuesday, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 2:30-4:00pm, 4:15-6:00pm, May 31, 2005, 102 C

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[28.01] Understanding the Fate of Dust Formed during the AGB phase -- The Role of Spitzer

W. B. Latter (NASA Herschel Science Center/Caltech)

The Spitzer Space Telescope has opened a new window on the evolution of dust formed in the winds of asymptotic giant branch stars. Numerous mysteries remain in our understanding of the fate of circumstellar dust as it leaves the stellar environment to an interstellar one. The material is modified by interactions with the interstellar radiation field, the far-ultraviolet radiation from a hot central star, and other chemical processing. The extraordinary sensitivity of the Spitzer science instruments offers an opportunity to study this evolving material, and to provide insight into the ultimate fate of circumstellar dust. We will review some of the observations taken to date, and discuss the implications of these data on our state of knowledge. The potential of additional future observations with Spitzer and other coming infrared missions, such as SOFIA and Herschel, will also be discussed.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.