AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 39 Circumstellar Disks
Oral, Monday, 10:00-11:30am, January 9, 2006, Delaware B

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[39.04] A Systematic Search and Characterization of Dusty Debris Disks

J. Rhee (Gemini Observatory), M. McElwain (UCLA), I. Song (Gemini Observatory), B. Zuckerman (UCLA)

Since the launch of IRAS mission in 1983, hundreds of debris disk excess candidates have been claimed in the literature. More than a half of these candidates are, however, believed to be false excess stars due to the large beam size of IR surveys and improper search or calibration techniques. Extending the work on 58 stars of Zuckerman and Song (2004), we have recently identified around 180 excess stars within 120 pc from the Earth by cross-correlating Hipparcos main sequence stars with the IRAS sources. A careful visual inspection of the digital sky survey images was performed for all candidate excess stars to eliminate any false positive such as a case of nearby galaxies falling in the large IRAS beam. Plotting amount of dust vs. age of our sample, we report a strong correlation in which dust population decreases over time as reported elsewhere previously. This trend has been anticipated but now reported for the first time with a statistically sigificant sample. In addition, using our IR excess sample, we have developed an online debris-disk database to provide valuable research tools to the debris disk community.

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