DIX Planetary Science Seminar

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Arms 155 (Robert P. Sharp Lecture Hall)
The ALMA View of Planet Formation
Jane Huang, NASA Hubble Fellowship Program Sagan Fellow, Astronomy, University of Michigan,

The ubiquity and diversity of planets tell us that they can emerge under an astonishing range of conditions. By enabling us to map the distributions of dust grains and molecules in protoplanetary disks at an unprecedented level of detail, the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) has transformed our understanding of planet formation. In the Disk Substructures at High Angular Resolution Project (DSHARP), we undertook the first high angular resolution disk survey at millimeter wavelengths. Although protoplanets are difficult to detect directly, the widespread presence of dust gaps and rings in disks suggests that giant planet formation may occur readily on Myr-timescales at surprisingly wide separations. Meanwhile, deep observations of molecular emission have revealed complex large-scale structures associated with protoplanetary disks, indicating that environmental interactions play a more important role in disk evolution and planet formation than previously assumed. ALMA has also revealed strong chemical heterogeneity within and among disks, laying the observational groundwork for investigating the link between the compositions of planets and their formation location. Together, these new data show that the natal environments of planets are far more dynamic and varied than earlier observations have indicated.

For more information, please contact Maria Camarca by email at mcamarca@caltech.edu.