LPL Colloquium: Dr. Amaya Moro-Martin

Thursday, Mar 7, 2013
3:45 pm — 4:45 pm

Location: Kuiper Space Sciences
Room: 308

Dr. Amaya Moro-Martin
Ramon y Cajal Fellow
Center for Astrobiology (INTA-CSIC)

"Seeing Worlds in Grains of Sand"

Abstract:
Debris disks are disks of dust that surround mature stars. From lifetime arguments it is inferred that the dust is not primordial but must originate from the collision/sublimation of planetesimals (that could be similar to the asteroids, comets and KBOs in our solar system). The presence of debris around stars of a wide range of masses (from the progenitors of white dwarfs to M dwarfs) indicates that planetesimal formation is a robust process that can take place under a wide range of conditions. Debris disks can help us learn about the diversity of planetary systems shedding light on the frequency and timing of planetesimal formation, their dynamical evolution, in some cases the parent bodies properties, the location of the dust-producing planetesimals and give hints on the presence of perturbing planetary companions. Of particular interest is the study of debris around stars known to harbor planets, the search for giant planets in debris disks systems and the exchange of debris between planetary systems.

Host: Ilaria Pascucci