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Special DIX Planetary Science Seminar

Wednesday, December 6, 2023
3:00pm to 4:00pm
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South Mudd 254
Planet Formation Chemistry in the Era of ALMA+JWST
Karin I. Öberg, Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences, Department of Astronomy, Harvard University,

Abstract: Planets form and obtain their compositions in disks around young stars. The chemical makeup of these disks fundamentally shapes the outcome of the planet formation process, including planetary elemental compositions, and access to water and organics for potentially habitable planets. We have recently entered a privileged era, where ALMA enables us to to probe the chemistry of the outer disk, beyond the water snowline, and JWST the inner disk. I will present some recent disk chemistry results from both telescopes, and discuss how we can combine the two facilities to obtain a comprehensive view not just of the complete disk chemical make-up, but also of how the inner and outer disk regions are linked dynamically and chemically. Even the best observations only provide snapshots in time of the disk chemical evolution, however, and I will also present some new laboratory experiments on volatile entrapment, deuterium fractionation, and organic molecule formation and destruction, and how these experiments enable new predictions of disk chemical compositions as well as better interpretative frameworks for Solar System observations.