Universiteit van Amsterdam
Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek
The activities of the project will be carried out by the Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek.
The Anton Pannekoek Institute is responsible for education and research in astronomy in the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Informatics of the University of Amsterdam. The Institute is part of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), a top research school program which funds instrumentation programs and collaborative research projects in Astronomy in the Netherlands. The Institute has a strong track record in theoretical and observational studies of protoplanetary discs. The emphasis is on studies of discs around intermediate mass pre-main-sequence stars, but recently activities have intensified to also study the more massive stars. Staff members are Waters, Kaper (observations) and Dominik (theory), one post-doc, and 5 PhD-students. Observational studies focus on the analysis of infrared spectra and images to study the physical structure and composition of the gas and dust. The observations that are used are collected from space observatories such as Iso, Spitzer, Akari and Herschel, while ground-based images are collected using 8-meter class telescopes such as the Visir instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), and ESO’s VLT interferometer.
Together with Waelkens (Leuven), Waters was the first to identify minerals in the protoplanetary discs surrounding intermediate mass young stars, and with Leinert (MPIA) he was also the first to use mid-infrared interferometry to spatially and spectrally resolve these discs, giving new views on the spatial distribution of the dust particles and their composition at a scale of 1AU. An important question is the relation between disc geometry (flaring versus self-shadowed, the presence of disc gaps), and the composition and spatial distribution of minerals in the disc, such as crystalline silicates.
Prof. Rens Waters (Teamleader)
expert on dust and IR observations
Dr. Michiel Min
developer of MCMax, expert on dust opacities
Prof. Carsten Dominik
expert on theoretical dust physics