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Planetary Science Seminar

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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South Mudd 365
Evolution of Circumstellar Disks and Planet Formation
Wladimir Lyra, Department of Physics and Astronomy, California State University at Northridge,
  During the first million years of evolution, nascent planetary systems are  embedded in dense disk-shaped clouds of gas. These circumstellar disks are  home to a myriad of hydrodynamical processes, which bring about turbulence  and the emergence of viscous-like behavior, enabling accretion of gas onto  the protostar. Meanwhile, micron-sized dust grains embedded in the disk  are growing through coagulation onto pebbles and rocks. Turbulence has a  positive effect on these small solids, concentrating them into transient  high pressure regions for long enough to achieve gravitational collapse  through pebble accretion into km-sized bodies, forming the first  planetesimals. Giant storm systems in the disk, similar to Jupiter's Great  Red Spot, may exist in quiescent zones of the disk. These are even more  prone to collecting solid material, producing the first terrestrial  planets and cores of giant planets. In this talk I will discuss the state  of the art and recent advances in the field of planet formation, as well  as pressing problems such as the structure observed in high resolution  sub-millimeter images of circumstellar disks, and how to interpret them.
For more information, please contact Chris Spalding by email at [email protected].