Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Colloquium

Monday, March 02, 2020 at 4:00 PM

JILA Auditorium

Refreshments served 30 minutes prior to start of talk in front of the JILA Auditorium.

Meredith Hughes, Wesleyan

"Using Debris Disks to Trace the Dynamics of Planetary Systems"

A Pretty Image from the Talk


Debris disks are signposts of mature planetary systems, and millimeter-size dust is an excellent tracer of the gravitational landscape around planets. I will describe observations using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) that leverage the presence of debris disks to explore the dynamics of planetary systems. For example, we can use the vertical puffiness (or lack thereof) to hunt for otherwise invisible Uranus and Neptune analogs, and in systems with directly imaged companions we can use the chaotic zone extent as a measurement of the dynamical mass of the companion. We are also using millimeter disk morphology as a test of theories of the origin of wide-separation planets.


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