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Space Telescope Science Institute
Nearby Resolved Debris Disks Mini-Workshop

A debris disk is a circumstellar disk of dust created by the collisions of planets and/or minor bodies such as asteroids. Because the emission and scattered light properties of dust are more easily observable than the planets themselves, these debris disks provide an indirect means to study planets and planet formation. Indeed, the dynamics of a planet interacting with the dust in a debris disk may sculpt it into elegant forms that reveal the planet, such as has been suggested for disk surrounding Vega.

Some of these debris disk systems are close enough that we can study them spatially and in great detail; these are the nearby resolved debris disks. Among them are the Fabulous Four, Vega, Fomalhaut, Beta Pictoris and Epsilon Eridani which were all detected by IRAS. Other more recently discovered sources include HR4796A, AU Mic, HD 141569 and HD107146. Since their discoveries, Spitzer, HST, Keck, Gemini and VLT data are providing a wealth of new data on these nearby resolved debris disks.

Workshop Topics

The goal of our workshop is to discuss these data as a whole set and to compare the data with models of their dynamics, radiative transfer and chemical/dust processed evolution. Topics we plan to address in this forum are:

Invited Speakers

Pawel Artymowicz Kate Su
Jane Greaves Taku Takeuchi
Paul Kalas Alycia Weinberger
David Koerner Mark Wyatt

Workshop Organizing Committee

Mark Clampin Steve Lubow
David Golimowski Margaret Meixner
Inga Kamp Jeff Valenti