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Analysis and Modelling of Multi-wavelength Observational Data from Protoplanetary Discs

Final Report Summary - DISCANALYSIS (Analysis and Modelling of Multi-wavelength Observational Data from Protoplanetary Discs)

Executive Summary:
This European FP7-SPACE project (acronym DiscAnalysis; referred to hereafter as DIANA) has studied the birthplaces of planets, the so-called protoplanetary discs, both observationally and theoretically. We have collected multi-wavelength observational data from various space-borne instruments and combined them with ground-based data, from X-ray to centimetre wavelengths. The data include photometric fluxes, low and high resolution spectra, interferometric data and images, emission line fluxes, line velocity profiles and line maps, which probe both the dust and the gas in these objects.

We have developed novel 2D disc models that include continuum and line radiative transfer, disc chemistry, heating and cooling balance for both the gas and the dust, and coupled these to 3D diagnostic radiative transfer tools to simultaneously predict all available observations based on a single model, the DIANA-standard disc model.

With this powerful modelling strategy, we are providing new insights into the preconditions for planet formation in protoplanetary discs. Based on our original target list of 85 protoplanetary discs, we have identified about 45 objects suitable for detailed disc modelling (well-known stellar properties – also in UV and X-rays, sufficiently unobscured and isolated single stars) with suitable continuum and line observational data up to centimetre wavelengths. We have performed 24 continuum-fitting disc models, out of which we generated 11 detailed gas and dust DIANA-standard models which fit all observational data, line and continuum, as well as possible.

These models allowed us to draw new conclusions about the dust properties in discs, the PAHs, the total dust and gas masses, the radial and vertical distribution of the dust and the gas, the chemical structure including ices, and the gas and dust temperatures in protoplanetary discs, just before the planets form. Both the collected observational datasets and links to our disc modelling software are offered to the community via our website for further use and analysis. The modelling datasets include the full 2D physico-chemical structure in the discs and a large suite of predicted line and continuum observations for future purposes.

We have furthermore computed large grids of disc models in parameter space to identify the main physical and chemical mechanisms responsible for trends and correlations that we find between the physical disc parameters and the observable spectral appearance. Based on these results, we have revisited previously known disc diagnostics based on single observational quantities, such as mass determinations based on millimetre continuum fluxes and CO isotopologue lines, we have provided new robust diagnostics, and we have provided a large suite of predictions for yet unobserved spectral quantities for future observing facilities such as JWST and SPICA.

The investigations have been carried out between 01/2012 and 03/2016 by a team of about 20 senior scientists, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students at five European Universities: (i) the University of St Andrews, UK, (ii) the University of Vienna, Austria, (iii) the Universite Grenoble Alpes, France, (iv) the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands, and (v) the Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Our dissemination efforts included 50 scientific papers, 74 scientific talks and 19 posters at international workshops and conferences, and about 70 public outreach talks and demonstrations.
We published 7 press releases and a series of short YouTube videos about protoplanetary discs and planet formation. The Summer School "Protoplanetary Discs: Theory and Modelling Meet Observations" was held on Ameland, The Netherlands, June 16-20, 2014 (leading to the publication of a book with the same title) and the international scientific conference "Protoplanetary Discussions" was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, March 7-11, 2016.

Project Context and Objectives:
see attached pdf: Chapter 2

Project Results:
see attached pdf: Chapter 3

Potential Impact:
see attached pdf: Chapter 4

List of Websites:

for contact details - see attached pdf: Chapter 5

* scientific coordinator / PI: Dr. Peter Woitke

University of St Andrews, School of Physics & Astronomy
North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, Scotland, UK tel: (+44) 1334 46 1681

* administrative officer: Dr. Irina Leonhardt

University of St Andrews, School of Physics & Astronomy
North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, Scotland, UK tel: (+44) 1334 46 3103

* scientific contact for Vienna: Prof. Manuel Guedel

University of Vienna, Department of Astrophysics
Tuerkenschanzstrasse 17, A-1180 Vienna, Austria tel: (+43) 1 4277 53814

* scientific contact for Grenoble: Prof. Francois Menard

Universite Grenoble Alpes, Institut de Planetologie et d'Astrophysique (IPAG)
CS 40700, F-38058 Grenoble cedex 9, France tel: (+33) 476 63 5601

* scientific contact for Groningen: Prof. Inga Kamp

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Kapteyn Instituut
Postbus 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands tel: (+31) 50 363 4070

* scientific contact for Amsterdam: Prof. Carsten Dominik

Universiteit van Amsterdam, Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy
Science Park 904, PO Box 94249, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands tel: (+31) 20 525 7477