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Astrophysics Colloquium

Looking for Exorings towards Beta Pictoris, J1407 and PDS 110
Presented by Matt Kenworthy
Leiden University

Thursday, April 12, 2018
11:00 A.M. in 169-336

Circumplanetary disks are part of the planet and moon formation process, passing from an optically thick regime of gas and dust through to a planet with retinue of moons and Roche lobe rings formed from the accreted material. There should therefore be a transitional phase where moons are beginning to form and these will clear out lanes in the circumplanetary disk, producing Hill sphere filling "rings" hundreds of times larger than Saturn's rings. We have seen evidence of these objects transiting their young star, with J1407, and more recently, with the young star PDS 110. We are also following the Hill sphere transit of Beta Pictoris b, a gas giant planet around a nearby bright star, and I will also present the latest light curves from this experiment.

JPL Contact: Brendan Crill (4-5416)

About the Speaker
Matt Kenworthy is an Associate Professor at Leiden Observatory in the Faculty of Science, part of Leiden University. His research includes the search for extrasolar planetary systems through direct imaging, interpreting unusual light curves as the transits of giant exorings around exoplanets, and developing and deploying instrumentation to discover them, such as coronagraphic optics and point spread function reconstruction techniques. He teaches courses on exoplanets, instrumentation and introductory astronomy.

SVCP Astrophysics

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