Molecules with ALMA at Planet Forming Scales

Molecules with ALMA at Planet Forming Scales

Planets form and obtain their compositions in dust and gas-rich disks around young stars. The planet forming process is intimately linked to the disk chemical structure. First, chemistry shapes the outcome of planet formation, including planetary hospitality to life. Second, the chemistry is sensitive to the distribution of dust and pebbles in disks, and as planets open up disk gaps they may change the chemical environment within which they form. Third, molecular emission is often the only tool we have to explore disk ionization levels, kinematics and mass distribution, all key ingredients of planet formation models. We proposed a Large Program to map out the radial and vertical disk chemical structures at 10 au scales, in five disks where dust sub-structure is detected and planet formation appears to be ongoing. The resulting data give us access to the chemistry in the planet forming zone of disks, allows us to explore how ongoing planet formation shape the disk chemistry environment, and helps constrain the disk gas properties in the previously unexplored inner disk midplane. We are currently working hard to reduce, image and analyse the data. We are excited to share the results with the community soon.

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Dr John D. Ilee
Postdoctoral Research Fellow