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Paper: SIRTF (Spitzer), Debris Disks, and Fred Gillett
Volume: 324, Debris Disks and the Formation of Planets: A Symposium in Memory of Fred Gillett
Page: 184
Authors: Werner, M.W.; Stapelfeldt, K.R.
Abstract: The study of planetary debris disks over the full range of infrared wavelengths requires the use of a cryogenic telescope in space because of the low surface brightness of these intrinsically faint, spatially extended systems. The next cryogenic infrared telescope will be NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), which is currently in the final stages of integration and test leading to launch in 2003. Fred Gillett made many critical contributions to the technical definition of SIRTF and played a key role in the advocacy of SIRTF, both within the science community and at NASA Headquarters. SIRTF will carry three focal plane instruments built around large-format infrared detector arrays and thus will be the first infrared space observatory to make extensive use-both for imaging and spectroscopy-of this very powerful new technology. The study of debris disks forms a big portion of one of the four science programs which have defined SIRTF's measurement capabilities; as a result SIRTF has great power for the study of the debris disk phenomenon. This paper reviews the SIRTF mission design and measurement functionality and describes SIRTF's potential studies of debris disks, drawing examples from the programs planned by the SIRTF Guaranteed Time Observers (GTO's) and the SIRTF Legacy Teams. We also summarize the opportunities for community participation in SIRTF.
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