How do young stars blow away their planet-forming disks?


Observations show that most young stars are surrounded by accretion disks, the sites in which planets form. Accretion disks evolve very rapidly to finally disappear in a few million years. There are different mechanisms that explain disk dispersal, in this talk I will focus in one of them: the evaporation of the disk by its central star, also known as photoevaporation. This process is driven by the extreme ultraviolet and X-ray emission from the young star, it is currently highly debated which of them is more important. The theory predicting disk photoevaporation was formulated more than a decade ago, but only recently we have obtained observational evidence to confirm it thanks to the Spitzer Space Telescope and to the Very Large Telescope in Chile. I will discuss the impact of disk photoevaporation in the final stages of star formation and in the planet formation process.

Sprache: Englisch | Language: English

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech