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D. E. Backman (SOFIA), M. R. Meyer (University of Arizona), L. A. Hillenbrand (Caltech), FEPS Spitzer Legacy Team
The Legacy program ``Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems" (FEPS) has exploited the sensitivity of all three Spitzer instruments to observe a sample of approximately 330 nearby stars with masses between 0.8 and 1.2 Msun and ages ranging from about 3 Myr to 3 Gyr. The goals of this program have been to trace the evolution of circumstellar dust and gas from young protoplanetary disks to older planetary debris disks, determining time scales over which terrestrial and gas giant planets can be built. In addition to the observational work there has been a complementary theoretical effort aimed at understanding the dynamics of circumstellar dust driven by radiation pressure and planetary perturbations, calculating atomic and molecular gas line emission as a function of embedded dust density, and studying dependence of dust emission spectra on grain composition and size. The diversity of mature planetary system architectures may be glimpsed, placing our solar system’s characteristics and evolution in context.
The Spitzer Space Telescope is operated by JPL under NASA contract 1407. FEPS is pleased to acknowledge support through NASA contracts 1224768, 1224634 and 1224566.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.