Observing the birth of planets

Wed 17 October, 2018 @12:00 PM, level 7
Dr Valentin Christiaens Monash University

Email:  valentin.christiaens[at]monash.edu



n order to solve the puzzle of the origin of the exoplanets and the Solar System, it is necessary to observe on-going planet formation. The young gas- and dust-rich circumstellar disks, also called protoplanetary disks, are the expected birthplace of planets. A fraction of these disks, referred to as transition disks, were identified to harbor inner clearings in their dust distribution, with some of these gaps extending over several dozens au, possibly due to dynamical carving by nascent giant planets.

Here I will first provide a brief description of state-of-the-art high-contrast imaging techniques, and then discuss results obtained from their application to the search of direct signals from protoplanets in transition disks. I will also explain how the characterization of structures seen in transition disks (e.g. gaps, spiral arms) and disk kinematics can be used to provide independent mass constraints on young embedded companions. A brief overview of promising techniques and instruments for the field of planet formation will also be provided.