Dr. Christian Ginski
Date: February 14th, 2022
Time: 10:30 am
From the first detection of an exoplanet around a sun-like star in 1995 the field of exoplanet observations has evolved at an ever-increasing pace. Today we know more than 4000 exoplanets in more than 3000 planetary systems, suggesting that planets are common around stars in the galaxy. From tightly packed systems of so-called “Super Earths” to massive super Jupiters that orbit their host stars at several times the Sun-Pluto distance, exoplanetary systems show a great diversity.
Strikingly, the vast majority of these systems are dissimilar from our solar system. To begin to understand this diverse population we must return to the early stages of planet formation: the planet-forming disks around young stars.
I will discuss recent high-resolution near-infrared, direct imaging observations of planet forming disks and young planets, conducted with the world’s largest telescopes. I will give a brief introduction to observation techniques, explain what we can learn from these observations, and how they can inform us on the mature planet population. I will focus on two survey programs that I am spearheading:
DESTINYS (Disk Evolution Study Through Imaging of Nearby Young Stars) and YSES (Young Suns Exoplanet Survey), which have recently yielded spectacular results. Within these programs we cover the first 20 million years of planetary system evolution. In addition to providing unique constraints on planet formation theory, I will show that young planets detected in direct imaging surveys are particularly suited for atmospheric characterization, which enables us to link their atmospheric compositions back to the initial formation site within the protoplanetary disk.