New models could reveal how exoplanets form in multi-star systems
Protoplanetary discs behave as astronomical 'wizards' that turn grains of sand into planets. Although no magic is involved, the process of exoplanet formation remains utterly mysterious. Exoplanets have been detected around single, binary and even multiple stellar systems. Understanding how planets form in multiple systems largely relies on the capacity to comprehend gas and dust dynamics in circumstellar, circumbinary or even more exotic protoplanetary disks. The EU-funded SANDS project plans to study disk dynamics using state-of-the-art hydrodynamical code (PHANTOM) coupled to a highly optimised radiative transfer code (MCFOST). This combination constitutes the most powerful numerical tool available to model disk dynamics in multiple systems.