Debris Disks and the Evolution of Planetary Systems

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Debris Disks and the Evolution of Planetary Systems
Christine Chen, Space Telescope Science Institute

Debris disks are dusty disks around middle-aged stars, believed to be analogous to the asteroid and Kuiper belts in our own Solar System. The dust in these systems absorbs and scatters star light, with the absorbed light heating up the dust. Space-based infrared observatories are the best tools with which to not only discover, but also characterize these planetary systems. These studies probe the nature and diversity of extrasolar systems, and help place our own into proper context. Is our Solar System common or rare?

Host: Dr. Joel Green

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