Abstract/Details

Debris disks in open stellar clusters


2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

Indirect searches for planets (such as radial velocity studies) show that their formation may be quite common. The planets are however too small and faint to be seen against the glare of their host stars; therefore, their direct detection is limited to the nearest systems. Alternatively one can study planets by studying their "by-product"---dust. We see raw material available for planets around young stars, and debris dust around old stars betraying planet-induced activity. Dust has a larger surface area per unit mass compared with a large body; it can be spread over a larger solid angle, intercepting more starlight and emitting much more light via reprocessing. By studying dusty disks we can infer the presence of planets at larger distances.

Here we present results of a survey conducted with the Spitzer Space Telescope of debris disks in three open clusters. With ages of 30--100 Myrs, these clusters are old enough that the primordial dust should have accreted into planetesimals, fallen onto the star, or been blown away due to a number of physical processes. The dust we observe must come from collisions or sublimation of larger bodies.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the dust evolution in the terrestrial planet zone, analogous to the Zodiacal cloud in our Solar system. We are most sensitive to this zone because the peak of a 125 K black body radiation falls into the primary pass-band of our survey---24μm. We investigate the fraction and amount of the infra-red excesses around intermediate- to solar-mass stars in open stellar clusters with well defined ages. The results are analyzed in the context of disk studies at other wavelengths and ages, providing an understanding of the time-scale for disk dissipation and ultimately planet building and frequency.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Astronomy;
Astrophysics
Classification
0606: Astronomy
0606: Astrophysics
Identifier / keyword
Pure sciences; Debris disks; Disk dissipation; Open clusters; Solar system; Stellar clusters
Title
Debris disks in open stellar clusters
Author
Gorlova, Nadiya Igorivna
Number of pages
145
Publication year
2006
Degree date
2006
School code
0009
Source
DAI-B 67/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780542856211
Advisor
Rieke, George H.
University/institution
The University of Arizona
University location
United States -- Arizona
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3232957
ProQuest document ID
305355811
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305355811
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