Project H

Kinematical study of planet forming disks

Anna Miotello & Stefano Facchini

(email advisors)

Protoplanetary disks, much like the planets in our Solar System, orbit around the star at their center. We will model this rotation to learn about the mass of the star, as well as the disk properties.

Protoplanetary disks around forming stars have been intensely studied in the past few decades, but only the advent of last generation facilities, such as the Atacama Large (sub-)Millimeter Array (ALMA), has allowed us to study these faint objects at high level of detail.

ALMA is providing us with high angular and spectral resolution images of disks with unprecedented sensitivity. Such datasets are mostly used to constrain planet formation as it occurs, but most of their potential is still unexploited. In particular, the high-spectral resolution of carbon monoxide (CO) emission can be used to trace the rotational curve of such disks. The rotation curve is mostly determined by the gravitational potential of the central star and can therefore be modeled to fit the mass of the protostar. Stellar properties, such as luminosity and mass, of pre-main sequence stars are usually constrained spectroscopically, but suffer of large theoretical assumption. We offer a carefully designed summer project to analyze CO ALMA observations of circumstellar disks to measure the mass of the central protostars using a publicly available python package. The student will start  from a sample of well-studied disks in the Lupus star-forming region (Ansdell et al., 2016) in order to get familiar with the methodology. The same analysis will then be applied to new high-resolution ALMA data of a particular planet forming disk, presenting deviations from a simple Keplerian rotation.

This project will allow the student to become familiar with mm-interferometric data and modeling.

#ALMA  #protoplanetarydisk  #planetformation  #exoplanet  #python  #keplerianrotation  #carbonmonoxide

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