Common warm dust temperatures around main-sequence stars

Farisa Y. Morales, G. H. Rieke, M. W. Werner, G. Bryden, K. R. Stapelfeldt, K. Y.L. Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


We compare the properties of warm dust emission from a sample of main-sequence A-type stars (B8-A7) to those of dust around solar-type stars (F5-K0) with similar Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph/MIPS data and similar ages. Both samples include stars with sources with infrared spectral energy distributions that show evidence of multiple components. Over the range of stellar types considered, we obtain nearly the same characteristic dust temperatures (190 K and 60 K for the inner and outer dust components, respectively) - slightly above the ice evaporation temperature for the inner belts. The warm inner dust temperature is readily explained if populations of small grains are being released by sublimation of ice from icy planetesimals. Evaporation of low-eccentricity icy bodies at 150 K can deposit particles into an inner/warm belt, where the small grains are heated to T dust 190 K. Alternatively, enhanced collisional processing of an asteroid belt-like system of parent planetesimals just interior to the snow line may account for the observed uniformity in dust temperature. The similarity in temperature of the warmer dust across our B8-K0 stellar sample strongly suggests that dust-producing planetesimals are not found at similar radial locations around all stars, but that dust production is favored at a characteristic temperature horizon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL29
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART II
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • circumstellar matter
  • infrared: stars
  • interplanetary medium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Common warm dust temperatures around main-sequence stars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this