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High-contrast imaging constraints on gas giant planet formation—The Herbig Ae/Be star opportunity

  • Sascha P. QuanzEmail author
Review Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Herbig Ae/Be stars

Abstract

Planet formation studies are often focused on solar-type stars, implicitly considering our Sun as reference point. This approach overlooks, however, that Herbig Ae/Be stars are in some sense much better targets to study planet formation processes empirically, with their disks generally being larger, brighter and simply easier to observe across a large wavelength range. In addition, massive gas giant planets have been found on wide orbits around early type stars, triggering the question if these objects did indeed form there and, if so, by what process. In the following I briefly review what we currently know about the occurrence rate of planets around intermediate mass stars, before discussing recent results from Herbig Ae/Be stars in the context of planet formation. The main emphasis is put on spatially resolved polarized light images of potentially planet forming disks and how these images—in combination with other data—can be used to empirically constrain (parts of) the planet formation process. Of particular interest are two objects, HD100546 and HD169142, where, in addition to intriguing morphological structures in the disks, direct observational evidence for (very) young planets has been reported. I conclude with an outlook, what further progress we can expect in the very near future with the next generation of high-contrast imagers at 8-m class telescopes and their synergies with ALMA.

Keywords

Planets and satellites: formation Stars: formation Planets and satellites: gaseous planets Planets and satellites: detection Protoplanetary disks 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the referee for a constructive report and H. Avenhaus, A. Garufi, and H.M. Schmid for helpful comments and suggestions that helped improve the quality of the manuscript. Furthermore, I am grateful to the editors of the Topical Collection on HAeBe stars (Willem-Jan de Wit and Rene Oudmaijer) for inviting me to contribute this work and I thank all colleagues who gave permission to reproduce figures from their original publications. Part of this work has been carried out within the frame of the National Centre for Competence in Research PlanetS supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The author acknowledges the financial support of the SNSF.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for AstronomyETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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