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The chemical structure of planet forming disks

Sala de Titulación, Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias UDP | May 23 11:00

Dr. Viviana Guzman




What sets the composition of nascent planets is a fundamental question
in astronomy, and one that is extremely timely considering the large
number of exoplanets with very different characteristics that have
been discovered in the past years. Whether these planets can host life
depends directly on the composition and distribution of the gas where
they form, i.e. protoplanetary disks. The recent results of the DSHARP
program have shown that sub-structures are an extremely common feature
of the dust component disks. Our current efforts are now to
characterize the distribution of key organic species in disks. Thanks
to the great sensitivity and spatial resolution of current
mm-facilities, we can start to understand how and what is the origin
of the material that is incorporated into planets.

In this talk I will show ALMA observations of simple species that are
very sensitive to photo-chemistry, like carbon chains (C2H and C3H2)
and cyanides (CN and HCN, including their isotopologues). HCN is of
particular interest as it is a key ingredient in prebiotic
chemistry. I will then discuss the current detections of the most
complex organics detected in protoplanetary disks so far, like H2CO
and CH3OH, key intermediate species in the formation of more complex
species in ices, and nitrogen-bearing species, like CH3CN and HC3N. I
will finish by commenting on our current efforts to constrain the
chemical structure of disks in the planet and comet forming zone.