Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published August 2003 | Published
Journal Article Open

From Molecular Cores to Planet-forming Disks: An SIRTF Legacy Program


Crucial steps in the formation of stars and planets can be studied only at mid‐ to far‐infrared wavelengths, where the Space Infrared Telescope (SIRTF) provides an unprecedented improvement in sensitivity. We will use all three SIRTF instruments (Infrared Array Camera [IRAC], Multiband Imaging Photometer for SIRTF [MIPS], and Infrared Spectrograph [IRS]) to observe sources that span the evolutionary sequence from molecular cores to protoplanetary disks, encompassing a wide range of cloud masses, stellar masses, and star‐forming environments. In addition to targeting about 150 known compact cores, we will survey with IRAC and MIPS (3.6–70 μm) the entire areas of five of the nearest large molecular clouds for new candidate protostars and substellar objects as faint as 0.001 solar luminosities. We will also observe with IRAC and MIPS about 190 systems likely to be in the early stages of planetary system formation (ages up to about 10 Myr), probing the evolution of the circumstellar dust, the raw material for planetary cores. Candidate planet‐forming disks as small as 0.1 lunar masses will be detectable. Spectroscopy with IRS of new objects found in the surveys and of a select group of known objects will add vital information on the changing chemical and physical conditions in the disks and envelopes. The resulting data products will include catalogs of thousands of previously unknown sources, multiwavelength maps of about 20 deg^2 of molecular clouds, photometry of about 190 known young stars, spectra of at least 170 sources, ancillary data from ground‐based telescopes, and new tools for analysis and modeling. These products will constitute the foundations for many follow‐up studies with ground‐based telescopes, as well as with SIRTF itself and other space missions such as SIM, JWST, Herschel, and TPF/Darwin.

Additional Information

© 2003 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2003 March 6; accepted 2003 April 18. This research has made use of NASA's Astrophysics Data System, the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France, and the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank L. Cambrésy and P. Padoan for supplying electronic versions of data. Support for this work, part of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) Legacy Science Program, was provided by NASA through an award issued by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under NASA contract 1407. The Leiden SIRTF legacy team is supported by a Spinoza grant from the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO) and by a grant from the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA). C. W. L. is partially supported by grant R01-2000-000-00025-0 from the Basic Research Program of the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation.

Attached Files

Published - 376697.pdf


Files (732.5 kB)
Name Size Download all
732.5 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 19, 2023