EAS Publications Series
Volume 41, 2010Physics and Astrophysics of Planetary Systems
|Page(s)||133 - 154|
|Published online||08 January 2010|
T. Montmerle, D. Ehrenreich and A.-M. Lagrange (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 41 (2010) 133-154
Dusty debris disks: First light from exosolar planetary systems
Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411, USA
For stars with ages ≥ 10 Myr, circumstellar disks are dominated by a population of optically thin dust grains most likely associated with the erosion of a planetesimal population in a system that may have also formed planets. The key goal of this chapter is to provide a core introduction to circumstellar debris disks that will allow the reader to more easily grasp the vast literature. We review key concepts involving the thermal and scattered light detection of debris disks, stellar age determinations, dust destruction mechanisms, and the connection between debris disks and exosolar planets. The material is presented at a level suitable for the non-astronomy graduate students attending the Les Houches winter school, but also includes tables and previously unpublished figures that will interest advanced astronomers.
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2010
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