Successful exoplanet surveys in the last decade have revealed that planets are ubiquitous throughout the Milky Way, and show a large diversity in mass, location and composition. At the same time, new facilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and optical/infrared facilities including Gemini/GPI have provided us with sharper images than ever before of protoplanetary disks around young stars, the birth cradles of planets. The high spatial resolution has revealed astonishing structures in disks, such as rings, gaps, asymmetries and spiral arms, and the enormous jump in sensitivity has provided the tools for both large, statistically relevant surveys and deep, sensitive molecular line studies. These observations have revolutionized our view of planet formation, disk formation and disk evolution, bringing model simulations and observations closer to the same level of detail, with many contributions from Canadian researchers on theoretical, observational and technological sides. The new results have inevitably led to a range of new questions, which require next generation instruments such as the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) and large scale optical infrared facilities. In this white paper we will discuss the current transformation in our understanding of planet formation and the next steps and challenges in connecting theory with exoplanet demographics and protoplanetary disk observations for Canadian research.
Canadian Long Range Plan for Astronomy and Astrophysics White Papers
- Pub Date:
- October 2019
- Zenodo community lpr2020;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- White paper E013 submitted to the Canadian Long Range Plan 2020