Yale Astronomy Virtual Colloquium - Jane Huang

Event time: 
Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 2:30pm
Jane Huang
Speaker Institution: 
University of Michigan
Talk Title: 
The Kaleidoscope of Planet-forming Environments
Event description: 

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, in a small but growing number of systems, detections of puzzling spiral structures oblige us to re-examine common assumptions about the reservoir of material available for planet formation. ALMA has also revealed strong chemical heterogeneity within and among disks, laying the observational groundwork for linking the compositions of planets to 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.