Three Years of SPHERE: The Latest View of the Morphology and Evolution of Protoplanetary Discs


Spatially resolving the immediate surroundings of young stars is a key challenge for the planet formation community. SPHERE on the VLT represents an important step forward by increasing the opportunities offered by optical or near-infrared imaging instruments to image protoplanetary discs. The Guaranteed Time Observation Disc team has concentrated much of its efforts on polarimetric differential imaging, a technique that enables the efficient removal of stellar light and thus facilitates the detection of light scattered by the disc within a few au from the central star. These images reveal intriguing complex disc structures and diverse morphological features that are possibly caused by ongoing planet formation in the disc. An overview of the recent advances enabled by SPHERE is presented.

The Messenger