Lowell Observatory Colloquia

Organic Molecules and Water in Circumstellar Disks: New Probes of Planet Formation and Chemical Evolution

Joan Najita, NOAO

Slipher Bldg Conference Room, 05 April, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.

Recent work with the Spitzer Space Telescope shows that emission from water and organic molecules is commonly found in the mid-infrared spectra of disks surrounding young stars. As these diagnostics probe the inner planet formation region of the disk (within a few AU), they offer the opportunity for new insights into planet formation processes and disk chemical evolution. I will describe how such spectra can be used to study whether disks synthesize and preserve molecules and how they might be used to obtain evidence of the planet formation process in action.

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