Institute of Astronomy

The IRS Debris Disk Catalog

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Christine Chen30 July 2014Across HR 2014 Talks


During the Spitzer Space Telescope cryogenic mission, Guaranteed Time Observers, Legacy Teams, and General Observers obtained Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) observations of hundreds of debris disk candidates. We calibrated the spectra of 571 candidates, including 64 new IRAS and MIPS debris disks candidates, modeled their stellar photospheres, and produced a catalog of excess spectra for unresolved debris disks. We carried out two separate SED analyses. (1) For all targets, we modeled the IRS and MIPS 70 micron data (where available) assuming that the SEDs were well-described using, zero, one or two temperature black bodies. We calculated the probability for each model and computed the average probability to select among models. (2) For a subset of 120 targets with 10 and/or 20 micron silicate features, we modeled the data using spherical silicate (olivine, pyroxene, forsterite, and enstatite) grains located either in a continuous disk with power-law size and surface density distributions or two thin rings that are well-characterized using two separate dust grain temperatures. We present a demographic analysis of the disk properties. For example, we find that the majority of debris disks are better fit using two dust components, suggesting that planetary systems are common in debris disks and that the size distribution of dust grains is consistent with a collisional cascade.