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Published August 1, 2006 | Published
Journal Article Open

Spitzer MIPS Limits on Asteroidal Dust in the Pulsar Planetary System PSR B1257+12


With the MIPS camera on Spitzer, we have searched for far-infrared emission from dust in the planetary system orbiting pulsar PSR B1257+12. With accuracies of 0.05 mJy at 24 μm and 1.5 mJy at 70 μm, photometric measurements find no evidence for emission at these wavelengths. These observations place new upper limits on the luminosity of dust with temperatures between 20 and 1000 K. They are particularly sensitive to dust temperatures of 100-200 K, for which they limit the dust luminosity to below 3 × 10^(-5) of the pulsar's spin-down luminosity, 3 orders of magnitude better than previous limits. Despite these improved constraints on dust emission, an asteroid belt similar to the solar system's cannot be ruled out

Additional Information

© 2006 American Astronomical Society. Received 2006 January 30; accepted 2006 April 5. This publication makes use of NASA/IPAC's InfraRed Science Archive (IRSA), which provides access to data from the 2MASS and IRAS all-sky surveys. The Spitzer Space Telescope is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under NASA contract 1407. Development of MIPS was funded by NASA through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, subcontract 960785. Some of the research described in this publication was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.We would like to thank Tom Kuiper for discussions on pulsar emission and an anonymous referee for helpful comments.

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