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STScI Public Lecture Series

Debris Disks and the Evolution of Planetary Systems

Presented by: Christine Chen (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Category: Education and Outreach   Duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes   Broadcast date: December 06, 2016
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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?