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4/17/14 Rita Mann SO/NOAO Joint Colloquium Series


Rita Mann, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics

The Potential to Form Planets in the Orion Nebula: The ALMA Perspective


The formation of planetary systems is intimately connected to the properties of the circumstellar disks in which they are born. Disk studies have focused on regions like Taurus and Ophiuchus for their proximity, however, stars rarely form in such isolated environments.  Most stars form in massive star forming regions and there is even clear evidence that our Sun formed near an OB association like those found in Orion.  Using the Submillimeter Array (SMA) and Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), we have surveyed the photoevaporating protoplanetary disks ("proplyds") in the Orion Nebula at 850 microns in order to determine their masses.  These observations have revealed the range of influence of nearby massive stars on disk properties and allowed us to answer long-standing questions about whether enough material remains in the Orion disks to potentially form Solar System analogs.   

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