When and how did the multitude of observed exo-planets form? The WANDA project aims at tackling this central question by investigating the origin of the ring-like and asymmetric structures observed in protoplanetary disks, the cradle of planets, and pushing such studies to the distant and massive star-forming regions, the locations that best represent the natal environments of the known exo-planets.
The WANDA team will employ a novel multi-wavelength and multi-technique observational approach, based on a combination of high-resolution spectroscopy, spatially resolved integral field spectroscopy, and high spatial resolution imaging at near-infrared and millimeter wavelengths. My on-going Large Program at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), together with my VLT/MUSE data, and additional data to be acquired, will be combined to a number of on-going Large and normal Programs on VLT/SPHERE and ALMA. The three PhD students and two Post-docs hired in the WANDA team will work on four work packages, aimed at answering the following specific questions:
- Are large cavities and rings observed in disks related to the presence of substantial winds?
- Does the presence of planets in disks leave significant imprint on the accretion of material onto the star?
- How do externally photoevaporating winds impact the properties of disks and how can we detect them?
- How is planet formation in massive star-forming regions different than in nearby low-mass regions?
WANDA will push to find a relation between the observed disk structures and the presence of disk winds, or planets, to guide us to better plan future searches for exo-planets in disks. With a better understanding on how to distinguish winds driven by massive nearby stars from those arising from the disk, WANDA will pave the way to explore massive star-forming regions with current and future telescopes, such as ELT and JWST.
The quest to understand our origin in the cosmos will be a significant step closer with the WANDA project.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.1 - European Research Council (ERC) Main Programme