|Coordinatore||THE UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS
address: NORTH STREET 66 COLLEGE GATE
|Nazionalità Coordinatore||United Kingdom [UK]|
|Sito del progetto||http://www.diana-project.com/|
|Totale costo||2˙600˙621 €|
|EC contributo||1˙993˙622 €|
Specific Programme "Cooperation": Space
|Anno di inizio||2012|
|Periodo (anno-mese-giorno)||2012-01-01 - 2016-03-31|
THE UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS
address: NORTH STREET 66 COLLEGE GATE
|UK (ST ANDREWS FIFE)||coordinator||791˙843.00|
address: UNIVERSITATSRING 1
address: Broerstraat 5
UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
address: SPUI 21
UNIVERSITE JOSEPH FOURIER GRENOBLE 1
address: "Avenue Centrale, Domaine Universitaire 621"
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'The search for planets outside of the solar system, related to the question 'are we alone in the universe?', is undoubtedly one of the main science drivers for the current design of telescopes and astronomical instrumentation. In this FP7 project, we will study the birth-places of such exo-planets, the so-called protoplanetary discs, by combining multi-wavelength space data (HERSCHEL, XMM, HST, SPITZER) with ground-based continuum and line data (VLT, JCMT, APEX, ALMA, eMERLIN). Large amounts of survey data exist, but are seriously under-utilised. We will mainly use our FP7 resources for the manpower to collect, analyse and interpret these data by means of novel high-quality disc models. Besides archival data, our team has access to the latest results from ongoing observational key programmes (from X-ray to cm wavelength), and these data need to be folded in to probe the conditions for planet formation, such as density, temperature and chemical composition, over the discs' full radial extent. Our team also covers the required modelling know-how to reach an unprecedented level of completeness concerning the inclusion of important physical processes (astrochemistry, gas heating & cooling, dust evolution, continuum & line radiative transfer, non-LTE modelling). We also aim for a breakthrough in wavelength-coverage and completeness as to how the models are compared to observations (photometry, interferometry, line fluxes, line profiles and images). Based on these multi-wavelength data sets and our detailed modelling efforts, we will be able to determine the physical and chemical structure of the discs, and answer a number of fundamental questions related to planet formation, for example, how the gas and dust in discs evolve in time, how important the stellar UV and X-ray irradiation is, and how the presence of planets alters the disc structure. We will capitalise on our unique team expertise in observations & modelling to make the best use of existing European space-mission data to explore disc evolution and the initial conditions of planet formation.'
Circumstellar discs spinning around newly born stars are modern day alchemists, transforming dust and gas into astronomical gold: planets. How exactly remains a mystery on which an EU-funded project aims to shed light.
Circumstellar discs have been intensively observed from the optical to millimetre wavelengths, from the ground and space. Numerous theoretical models have also been developed to describe how circumstellar discs disappear, leading to planetary discs and eventually planets. However, past studies relied on poor statistics, with only a few known objects.
The EU-funded 'Analysis and modelling of multi-wavelength observational data from protoplanetary discs' (http://www.diana-project.com/ (DISCANALYSIS)) project aims to combine a wide range of observations to constrain all aspects of disc structure and dust content. For the first time, 85 circumstellar discs are probed from optical to near-infrared wavelengths in scattered light to the millimetre regime corresponding to thermal emission.
Besides archived observations, the DISCANALYSIS team has access to the latest results from ongoing observational programmes, such as the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. These data are folded in to find quantitative evidence of dust evolution in the disc: from how grains grow up to millimetre-sized particles, to larger grains to fluffy aggregates that will ultimately give birth to kilometre-size planetesimals.
To reproduce all observations of the discs as coherently as possible, 40 individual theoretical models are being developed. The data sets compiled within the DISCANALYSIS project and model results should cover all evolutionary status until discs start to dissipate. By the completion of the project, all aspects of circumstellar discs evolution until the first stages of planets' formation that are poorly understood will have been explored.
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