Physics Colloquium: Astronomical Constraints on Planet Formation
Tuesday, October 3 at 3:15pm
Regents Hall, 109 3700 O St. NW
Dr. Alycia Weinberger, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Young stars form with circumstellar disks that provide the raw materials for planets. How these ubiquitous disks form planets and then dissipate to leave mature planetary systems is a remaining major puzzle of exoplanet science. I will describe astrometric measurements that help us to understand the lifetime of disks, and therefore the timescales for planet formation. Disks are visible to us by scattering light from their central stars and by emitting light in continuum. I will describe how we can measure the compositions of the disks and try to relate this to the processes occurring within them and the ultimate composition of planets.
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