Dr. Alice Quillen
(Rochester)

University of Florida Astronomy Colloquium - Oct. 1, 2008

Sculpting Circumstellar Disks

Recent observations of circumstellar disks have revealed a variety of interesting morphology: holes, puffed up edges, gaps, spiral features, warps, clumps, lopsidedness. Models proposed to account for the morphology can involve unseen massive objects, such as planets or planetary embryos. Planets or planetesimals discovered or constrained by these studies cannot yet be detected by other observational techniques. Systems with bright dusty disks represent analogs to the young Solar system so by studying them we probe the formation and evolution of planetary systems. In this talk I will explore constraints on planetary systems based on dynamical models of observed circumstellar disks.