Five years after HL Tau: a new era in planet formation


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Online conference, Chile, December 7-11, 2020


Scientific Rationale

Our understanding of planet formation has been significantly challenged by recent observations during these last years. Recent high-resolution observations by ALMA and SPHERE/VLT have found compelling evidence of planet signatures much earlier than what was typically assumed, questioning the time at which planet formation takes place.

The ALMA DSHARP Large Program has revealed the incredible ubiquity of substructures in protoplanetary disks: rings, gaps, and spirals are found in most of them, and are likely to play a crucial role in planet formation. Are these structures the enablers of grain growth, or are they the result of planet-disk interactions? When do these structures form?

Together with very detailed studies of individual sources, ALMA has produced demographic views of protoplanetary disks in most nearby star-forming regions, providing dust mass measurements for large samples of sources for the first time and enabling statistical comparisons with exoplanet populations.  Polarimetric studies and (sub)mm spectral indices are arriving at conflicting results regarding grain growth in disks, and we have unprecedented access to the vast network of chemical processes taking place in these objects. Moreover, these facilities are also detecting young exoplanets still inside protoplanetary disks for the first time, both through direct imaging and through the velocity dispersion that planets induce in the surrounding gas.

This ESO/NRAO workshop aims to discuss the emerging new paradigm of planet formation. The program will offer a broad view of the field, covering from the early stages of disks still embedded in their parental envelope to the times when full planetary systems are formed and only a few remnants of the progenitor disk are left. It will also explore the future of planet formation studies, as well as the impact and potential of upcoming instrumentation and telescopes (e.g. ngVLA. E-ELT, SKA, JWST). With this workshop, we aim at creating a more unified view of the exciting discoveries that have taken place in recent years.


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Organizers: ESO, NRAO (NAASC + ngVLA), ALMA