First Steps of Planet Formation in Protoplanetary Disks

Presenter: Elise Furlan, National Optical Astronomy Observatory
When: October 15, 2007 11AM PDT

Young stars are surrounded by circumstellar disks for several million years; it is in these disks that planets are thought to form. The Spitzer Space Telescope has been providing a wealth of data that aids in understanding the evolution of protoplanetary disks. I will present results from Spitzer that reveal significant disk evolution, ranging from dust grain growth to disk clearing, already at an age of 1 million years. Thus, we are observing the first steps of planet formation in several of these young disks, which place constraints on planet formation mechanisms.

NPP Alumni Seminars

  • The NASA Postdoctoral Program has been extraordinarily successful in supporting new leaders in the astrobiology community. Upon completion of their postdoctoral fellowships, the Astrobiology Fellows are given the opportunity to present a seminar to share their work with one another and with the astrobiology community at large.
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