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Astrophysics Colloquium

Observational Planet Formation
Presented by Ruobing Dong
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Canada

Thursday, February 20, 2020
11:00 A.M. in 169-336

Abstract
Planets form in gaseous protoplanetary disks surrounding newborn stars. As such, the most direct way to learn how they form from observations is to observe them forming in disks. In the past, this was difficult due to a lack of observational capabilities and planet formation was a subject of theoretical research. Now, thanks to a fleet of new instruments with unprecedented resolving power that have come online in the past decade, we have started to unveil features in resolved images of protoplanetary disks, such as gaps and spiral arms, that are likely associated with embedded (unseen) planets. By comparing observations with theoretical models of planet-disk interactions, the properties of still forming planets may be constrained. Such planets help us test planet formation models. This has opened a new field: observational planet formation. I will introduce the current status of this field and highlight some of the latest developments.

JPL Contact: Neal Turner (3-0049)


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