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J. J. Wray (Princeton University & IfA, University of Hawaii), M. C. Liu (IfA, University of Hawaii), I. N. Reid (STScI)
Debris disks provide an opportunity to learn about the planet formation process in other solar systems as well as our own. To date, most studies have focused on disks around early or mid-type stars, excluding the much more common low-mass dwarfs either by choice or simply because any disks they may have are too low luminosity to be detected. We have conducted the largest and most thorough search for K and M dwarf debris disks to date, and have found several new candidate disks. The candidates include both warm, asteroid belt-type rings and cold disks more nearly analogous to the Kuiper belt. The candidates were identified from a sample of 1,400 dwarf stars within a 25 pc radius, cross-matched with IRAS flux densities compiled from a number of sources. The completeness and reliability of the matches have been tested rigorously and found to be high.
This work was conducted through a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) position at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy and funded by the NSF.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.