Astronomy Colloquium

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium
How to Form a Habitable Planet
Meredith Ann MacGregor, Assistant Professor of Physics, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder,

Planets form from disks of dust and gas surrounding young stars.  As they grow, these new planets inherit their chemical composition from the surrounding material and then sculpt it through gravitational interactions to form gaps and other asymmetric structures.  In the last decade, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has revolutionized our ability to study planet formation, allowing us to examine this process in high resolution.  I will present highlights from ongoing work using ALMA and other facilities that explores how planetary systems form and evolve by (1) connecting disk structure to sculpting planets and (2) understanding the impact of stellar flares on planetary habitability.  Together these results provide an exciting foundation to investigate the evolution of planetary systems as a whole through multi-wavelength observations.  In the future, new facilities, specifically in the far-infrared, will help complete our understanding by tracing the chemistry of water and other volatiles critical for life.

To view this talk via YouTube, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb1880Rn0qkKzIavl-n_7RaMyDOiU9XHm

For more information, please contact Dimitri Mawet by email at dmawet@astro.caltech.edu or visit http://www.astro.caltech.edu.