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L. A. Hillenbrand (Caltech), J. Serena Kim (Univ. of Arizona), D. E. Backman (SOFIA), M. R. Meyer (Univ. of Arizona), D. C. Hines (Space Science Institute), FEPS Collaboration
We present statistics on debris systems around sun-like stars based upon observations performed with the Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the Legacy Science Program, ``Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems'' (FEPS). Our preliminary results show that at least 20% of 320 sun-like stars with ages between 3 Myr and 3 Gyr exhibit infrared emission in excess of expected photospheres in the MIPS 70 micron band. We briefly summarize the distribution of disk characteristics as a function of age for the nearly complete FEPS sample. We then focus on about 40 sources that exhibit excess emission only at 70 microns, having spectral energy distributions consistent with photospheric emission at <33 microns. For debris in equilibrium with the stellar radiation field, this criterion restricts the maximum dust temperature to T <70 K. These sources are mostly in the older FEPS age bins (>300 Myr) with a peak in their excess frequency vs. age distribution at >1 Gyr. We speculate on the nature of the cold debris systems, which likely represent materials generated by collisions within planetesimal belts that are stirred by larger planets, through comparisons to our own Kuiper Belt and Neptune.
This work is based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under NASA contract 1407. FEPS is pleased to acknowledge support through NASA contracts 1224768, 1224634, 1224566 administered through JPL.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.