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From Planet-Forming Disks to Giant Planets

Project description

Research aims to shed more light on disc-planet interactions

Planet formation takes place in the accretion discs around young stars. These discs display a large variety of spatial structures, which are thought to be caused by gas-dust dynamics, chemical processes, and the interaction between planets and the disc. The EU-funded Origins project aims to relate the disc physics and chemistry to exoplanet properties. With the help of detailed observations on discs and young planetary systems, simulations and laboratory experiments on dust/ice particles, the project will determine the fundamental properties of planet-forming discs. Project results will enhance understanding of the timescale for planet formation and reveal more about the nature of planet-disc interactions.


Planet-forming disks around young stars display a large variety of spatial structures indicating pattern formation by gas-dust dynamics and planet-disk interactions. The diversity of planetary properties point to different physical and chemical conditions in their parental disks and a range of formation pathways. Currently, there is no unifying approach which connects disk physics and chemistry with exoplanet properties. The development of such a link remains a considerable challenge as long as fundamental disk properties are uncertain. The objective of this project is to close the gap between the conditions in planet-forming disks and the properties of giant planets and their atmospheres.

We will constrain fundamental disk properties - mass, turbulent state, and molecular content - by dedicated infrared and (sub)millimetre observations combined with comprehensive modeling efforts and experimental studies of ice-grain surface chemistry. The second very demanding project goal is to discover young giant planets in their birth environments and to characterize their properties, applying innovative techniques to analyze the results of approved imaging surveys with AO instruments at the VLT/LBT. These data will be supplemented by ALMA observations tracing gas kinematic signatures induced by embedded planets. The results of these studies will lead to major progress in understanding the timescale for planet formation and will reveal the nature of planet-disk interactions. The most challenging objective of the project is to build a connection between disk properties and the atmospheres of giant planets. Planet formation and evolution models will be coupled with a description of the chemical and accretion history to predict planetary elemental abundances, setting the scene for the thermal and chemical structure of giant planet atmospheres. Synthetic spectra will be provided using state-of-the art atmospheric codes and will be compared to observed planet spectra.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 474 252,00
80539 Munchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 2 474 252,50

Beneficiaries (1)