Formation and evolution of planetary systems: properties of debris dust around solar-type stars

John M. Carpenter, Bouwman Jeroen, Eric E. Mamajek, Michael R. Meyer, Lynne A. Hillenbrand, Dana E. Backman, Henning Thomas, Dean C. Hines, Hollenbach David, Serena Kim Jinyoung, Moro Martin Amaya, Pascucci Ilaria, Murray D. Silverstone, John R. Stauffer, Wolf Sebastian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


We present Spitzer photometric (IRAC and MIPS) and spectroscopic (IRS low resolution) observations for 314 stars in the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems Legacy program. These data are used to investigate the properties and evolution of circumstellar dust around solar-type stars spanning ages from approximately 3 Myr3 Gyr. We identify 46 sources that exhibit excess infrared emission above the stellar photosphere at 24 μm, and 21 sources with excesses at 70 μm. Five sources with an infrared excess have characteristics of optically thick primordial disks, while the remaining sources have properties akin to debris systems. The fraction of systems exhibiting a 24 μm excess greater than 10.2% above the photosphere is 15% for ages < 300 Myr and declines to 2.7% for older ages. The upper envelope to the 70 μm fractional luminosity appears to decline over a similar age range. The characteristic temperature of the debris inferred from the IRS spectra range between 60 and 180 K, with evidence for the presence of cooler dust to account for the strength of the 70 μm excess emission. No strong correlation is found between dust temperature and stellar age. Comparison of the observational data with disk models containing a power-law distribution of silicate grains suggests that the typical inner-disk radius is ≳10 AU. Although the interpretation is not unique, the lack of excess emission shortward of 16 μm and the relatively flat distribution of the 24 μm excess for ages ≲300 Myr is consistent with steady-state collisional models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-226
Number of pages30
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Infrared: Stars
  • Planetary systems: Formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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