Physics Colloquium: Dr. Sean Brittain, Clemson University


Location: 118 Nieuwland Science Hall (View on map )

The Formation of Planets: Progress, Problems, and Prospects

Prof. Sean Brittain (ND PhD 2004)
Department Chair /Head
Physics and Astronomy
Clemson University

Understanding the formation of planets remains one of astronomy’s most rewarding challenges. It is an important part of our quest to understand our own cosmic origins, and it bears on the possibility of life on other worlds. Dramatic progress has been made in the opening decades of the 21st century, however, significant questions remain unanswered. One of those questions is related to the formation and migration of gas giant planets.  Imaging surveys only find gas giant planets around a few percent of nearby young A-stars, yet images of disks around their evolutionary precursors show strong indirect evidence of supra-Jovain mass planets around about half of these objects. Yet the direct detection of a forming gas giant planet in orbit around such a star remains elusive.  I’ll describe the challenges involved in detecting forming planets, why they are important for putting our own Solar System into a cosmic context, and the opportunities emerging technology will provide to address this issue in the near future.

Hosted by Prof. Mathews

Email for the zoom link.