ISO-NASA Key Project: The Birth and Death of Planetary Systems

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Session 16 -- Molecular Clouds, Star Formation, Very Young Stars, T Tauri Stars
Oral presentation, Monday, 30, 1994, 10:00-11:30

[16.09] ISO-NASA Key Project: The Birth and Death of Planetary Systems

R.E.Stencel (University of Denver), D.E.Backman (Franklin\&Marshall College)

The aim of this Infrared Space Observatory [ISO], NASA-selected Guarranteed Time observing program is to establish the true frequency for far-infrared excesses in a volume-limited sample of main sequence and related stars, in order to address the relative success or failure of single stars in processes related to the forming of planetary systems. For a volume-limited subset of main sequence and related stars, PHT03 measurements at 3.6, 11.5, 20 and 60 microns will be obtained, using a 120 arcsec aperture in all cases to eliminate possible companion confusion with differing apertures. For the M dwarfs, 100 micron observations will also be obtained. For some, brighter sources, more extensive wavelength coverage and improved spatial resolution will be attempted, using CAM and SWS. We also plan PHOT micro-scanning 60 micron observations of the brightest and nearest Vega-like sources to measure the characteristic sizes of the emitting regions and obtain some information regarding their shapes and orientations. The goal is to derive the intrinsic size and shape of the FWHM contour of the emitting region. We also plan photometry of selected lines of sight through the zodiacal dust into possible outer solar system (Kuiper Belt) material. Observations at a range of wavelengths, ecliptic latitudes and at 2 epochs are designed to help untangle foreground from background flux, not necessarily to look for individual macroscopic objects. We are pleased to acknowledge partial support for this effort through NASA grant NAGW-3680 to the University of Denver.

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