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Astrophysics Luncheon Seminar

Investigating the Early Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems with Sub-mm and Radio Interferometers
Presented by Luca Ricci
California State University Northridge / Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Monday, February 5, 2018
12:00 noon in 169-336

Planets form through a huge growth of solids, starting from the tiny sub-micron sized grains found in the Interstellar Medium. Sub-mm observations of young circumstellar disks, the cradles of planets, can reveal key steps along this process. Pebbles as large as ~ 1-10 millimeter have been found in nearly all young disks observed so far, orbiting either young stars or brown dwarfs. The spatial distribution of these particles can be investigated in great detail using sub-mm and radio interferometers such as ALMA and the VLA.

I will discuss how these observations inform models of the early evolution of solids toward the formation of planets. I will also present recent results from ALMA projects aimed at 1) detecting dust surrounding young protoplanets, and 2) studying the distribution of solids at very high angular resolution in disks around young Solar-like stars, which gives an insight into the dynamical interaction between the disk and a planetary system embedded in the disk. Some future prospects for similar observations with the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) will also be discussed.


SVCP Astrophysics

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