skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: The decay of debris disks around solar-type stars

Abstract

We present a Spitzer MIPS study of the decay of debris disk excesses at 24 and 70 μm for 255 stars of types F4-K2. We have used multiple tests, including consistency between chromospheric and X-ray activity and placement on the H-R diagram, to assign accurate stellar ages. Within this spectral type range, at 24 μm, 13.6% ± 2.8% of the stars younger than 1 Gyr have excesses at the 3σ level or more, whereas none of the older stars do, confirming previous work. At 70 μm, 22.5% ± 3.6% of the younger stars have excesses at ≥3σ significance, whereas only 4.7{sub −2.2}{sup +3.7}% of the older stars do. To characterize the far-infrared behavior of debris disks more robustly, we doubled the sample by including stars from the DEBRIS and DUNES surveys. For the F4-K4 stars in this combined sample, there is only a weak (statistically not significant) trend in the incidence of far-infrared excess with spectral type (detected fractions of 21.9{sub −4.3}{sup +4.8}%, late F; 16.5{sub −3.3}{sup +3.9}%, G; and 16.9{sub −5.0}{sup +6.3}%, early K). Taking this spectral type range together, there is a significant decline between 3 and 4.5 Gyr in the incidence of excesses, with fractional luminosities justmore » under 10{sup –5}. There is an indication that the timescale for decay of infrared excesses varies roughly inversely with the fractional luminosity. This behavior is consistent with theoretical expectations for passive evolution. However, more excesses are detected around the oldest stars than are expected from passive evolution, suggesting that there is late-phase dynamical activity around these stars.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357202
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 785; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DECAY; EVOLUTION; LUMINOSITY; STARS; X RADIATION

Citation Formats

Sierchio, J. M., Rieke, G. H., Su, K. Y. L., and Gáspár, Andras, E-mail: sierchio@mit.edu. The decay of debris disks around solar-type stars. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/785/1/33.
Sierchio, J. M., Rieke, G. H., Su, K. Y. L., & Gáspár, Andras, E-mail: sierchio@mit.edu. The decay of debris disks around solar-type stars. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/785/1/33.
Sierchio, J. M., Rieke, G. H., Su, K. Y. L., and Gáspár, Andras, E-mail: sierchio@mit.edu. Thu . "The decay of debris disks around solar-type stars". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/785/1/33.
@article{osti_22357202,
title = {The decay of debris disks around solar-type stars},
author = {Sierchio, J. M. and Rieke, G. H. and Su, K. Y. L. and Gáspár, Andras, E-mail: sierchio@mit.edu},
abstractNote = {We present a Spitzer MIPS study of the decay of debris disk excesses at 24 and 70 μm for 255 stars of types F4-K2. We have used multiple tests, including consistency between chromospheric and X-ray activity and placement on the H-R diagram, to assign accurate stellar ages. Within this spectral type range, at 24 μm, 13.6% ± 2.8% of the stars younger than 1 Gyr have excesses at the 3σ level or more, whereas none of the older stars do, confirming previous work. At 70 μm, 22.5% ± 3.6% of the younger stars have excesses at ≥3σ significance, whereas only 4.7{sub −2.2}{sup +3.7}% of the older stars do. To characterize the far-infrared behavior of debris disks more robustly, we doubled the sample by including stars from the DEBRIS and DUNES surveys. For the F4-K4 stars in this combined sample, there is only a weak (statistically not significant) trend in the incidence of far-infrared excess with spectral type (detected fractions of 21.9{sub −4.3}{sup +4.8}%, late F; 16.5{sub −3.3}{sup +3.9}%, G; and 16.9{sub −5.0}{sup +6.3}%, early K). Taking this spectral type range together, there is a significant decline between 3 and 4.5 Gyr in the incidence of excesses, with fractional luminosities just under 10{sup –5}. There is an indication that the timescale for decay of infrared excesses varies roughly inversely with the fractional luminosity. This behavior is consistent with theoretical expectations for passive evolution. However, more excesses are detected around the oldest stars than are expected from passive evolution, suggesting that there is late-phase dynamical activity around these stars.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/785/1/33},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 785,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 10 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Thu Apr 10 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}
  • We have observed 152 nearby solar-type stars with the Infrared Spectrometer (IRS) on the Spitzer Space Telescope. Including stars that met our criteria but were observed in other surveys, we get an overall success rate for finding excesses in the long-wavelength IRS band (30-34 mum) of 11.8% +- 2.4%. The success rate for excesses in the short-wavelength band (8.5-12 mum) is approx1% including sources from other surveys. For stars with no excess at 8.5-12 mum, the IRS data set 3sigma limits of around 1000 times the level of zodiacal emission present in our solar system, while at 30-34 mum datamore » set limits of around 100 times the level of our solar system. Two stars (HD 40136 and HD 10647) show weak evidence for spectral features; the excess emission in the other systems is featureless. If the emitting material consists of large (10 mum) grains as implied by the lack of spectral features, we find that these grains are typically located at or beyond the snow line, approx1-35 AU from the host stars, with an average distance of 14 +- 6 AU; however, smaller grains could be located at significantly greater distances from the host stars. These distances correspond to dust temperatures in the range approx50-450 K. Several of the disks are well modeled by a single dust temperature, possibly indicative of a ring-like structure. However, a single dust temperature does not match the data for other disks in the sample, implying a distribution of temperatures within these disks. For most stars with excesses, we detect an excess at both IRS and Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS) wavelengths. Only three stars in this sample show a MIPS 70 mum excess with no IRS excess, implying that very cold dust is rare around solar-type stars.« less
  • We present Spitzer MIPS observations at 24 {mu}m of 37 solar-type stars in the Pleiades and combine them with previous observations to obtain a sample of 71 stars. We report that 23 stars, or 32% +- 6.8%, have excesses at 24 {mu}m at least 10% above their photospheric emission. We compare our results with studies of debris disks in other open clusters and with a study of A stars to show that debris disks around solar-type stars at 115 Myr occur at nearly the same rate as around A-type stars. We analyze the effects of binarity and X-ray activity onmore » the excess flux. Stars with warm excesses tend not to be in equal-mass binary systems, possibly due to clearing of planetesimals by binary companions in similar orbits. We find that the apparent anti-correlations in the incidence of excess and both the rate of stellar rotation and also the level of activity as judged by X-ray emission are statistically weak.« less
  • We used chromospheric activity to determine the ages of 2820 field stars. We searched these stars for excess emission at 22 μm with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer. Such excess emission is indicative of a dusty debris disk around a star. We investigated how disk incidence trends with various stellar parameters, and how these parameters evolve with time. We found 22 μm excesses around 98 stars (a detection rate of 3.5%). Of these 98 excess sources, 74 are presented here for the first time. We also measured the abundance of lithium in eight dusty stars in order to test ourmore » stellar age estimates.« less
  • The presence of debris disks around young main-sequence stars hints at the existence and structure of planetary systems. Millimeter-wavelength observations probe large grains that trace the location of planetesimal belts. The Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems Spitzer Legacy survey of nearby young solar analogues yielded a sample of five debris disk-hosting stars with millimeter flux suitable for interferometric follow-up. We present observations with the Submillimeter Array (SMA) and the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy at ∼2″ resolution that spatially resolve the debris disks around these nearby (d ∼ 50 pc) stars. Two of the five disks (HDmore » 377, HD 8907) are spatially resolved for the first time and one (HD 104860) is resolved at millimeter wavelengths for the first time. We combine our new observations with archival SMA and Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array data to enable a uniform analysis of the full five-object sample. We simultaneously model the broadband photometric data and resolved millimeter visibilities to constrain the dust temperatures and disk morphologies, and perform a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis to fit for basic structural parameters. We find that the radii and widths of the cold outer belts exhibit properties consistent with scaled-up versions of the Solar System's Kuiper Belt. All the disks exhibit characteristic grain sizes comparable to the blowout size, and all the resolved observations of emission from large dust grains are consistent with an axisymmetric dust distribution to within the uncertainties. These results are consistent with comparable studies carried out at infrared wavelengths.« less
  • We present dual-band Herschel/Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer imaging for four stars whose spectral energy distributions (SEDs) suggest two-ring disk architectures that mirror that of the asteroid-Kuiper Belt geometry of our own solar system. The Herschel observations at 100 μm spatially resolve the cold/outer-dust component for each star-disk system for the first time, finding evidence of planetesimals at >100 AU, i.e., a larger size than assumed from a simple blackbody fit to the SED. By breaking the degeneracy between the grain properties and the dust's radial location, the resolved images help constrain the dust grain-size distribution for each system. Threemore » of the observed stars are A-type and one solar-type. On the basis of the combined Spitzer/IRS+MIPS (5-70 μm), the Herschel/PACS (100 and 160 μm) dataset, and under the assumption of idealized spherical grains, we find that the cold/outer belts of the three A-type stars are well fit with a mixed ice/rock composition rather than pure rocky grains, while the debris around the solar-type star is consistent with either rock or ice/rock grains. For the solar-type star HD 104860, we find that the minimum grain size is larger than expected from the threshold set by radiative blowout. The A-type stars HD 71722 and HD 159492, on the other hand, require minimum grain sizes that are smaller than blowout for inner- and outer-ring populations. In the absence of spectral features for ice, we find that the behavior of the continuum can help constrain the composition of the grains (of icy nature and not pure rocky material) given the Herschel-resolved locations of the cold/outer-dust belts.« less