WUNA Lunch Talk:

Rita Mann

Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics

The Potential to Form Planets in the Orion Nebula

November 30

12:10PM, Room 230, NRAO, Edgemont Road


The formation of planetary systems is intimately connected to the properties of the circumstellar disks in which they are born.Disk studies to date have focused on regions like Taurus and rho Ophiuchus for their proximity, however, stars rarely form in such isolated environments.Most stars form in massive star forming regions and there is even clear evidence that our Sun formed near an OB association like that found in Orion. Using the Submillimeter Array (SMA), we surveyed 67 protoplanetary disks ("proplyds") at 850 microns in the Orion Nebula to determine their masses. The SMA has been uniquely capable of detecting dust emission from the Orion proplyds, making these results the only successful measurements of disk masses in an OB association.These observations have revealed the range of influence of nearby massive stars on disk evolution and allowed us to answer the long-standing question about whether enough material remains in the Orion disks to potentially form Solar System analogs.