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A. J. Skemer, E. L. N. Jensen (Swarthmore College)
Photometry from the Spitzer Space Telescope has greatly enhanced our ability to determine several important parameters of circumstellar disks around solar-type stars during the epoch of planet formation. We use observations from the FEPS (Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems) Legacy program to explore the range of possible disks allowed by the data. By fitting data (including upper limits) with a range of optically thin dust disk models, we calculate the probability distributions of several disk parameters, allowing us to construct confidence intervals for disk mass and inner/outer disk radii. With these results, we explore Spitzer's sensitivity to disks with different parameters, and around stars of different distances, with the goal of providing guidance for future observations.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation through NSF grant AST-0307830.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.