ASIAA Summer Students Program
ASIAA Summer Student Program 2023
July 3 - August 31

2023 Project Description

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Exploring Planet Formation through ALMA Super-resolution Imaging: An Analysis of Disk Structures Across Different Evolutionary Stages

Protoplanetary Disk
Radio Astronomy
Radio Interferometry
Super-resolution Imaging Technique


Masayuki Yamaguchi, Naomi Hirano
Find out more about supervisors on ASIAA website

Task Description and Goals

Planets are formed in protoplanetary disks (PPDs), which consist of a mixture of gas and dust, surrounding young stars. The structure and evolution of PPDs are believed to be inextricably linked to the formation of planets. The arrival of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has facilitated the observation of PPDs with high spatial resolutions, down to 5-15 astronomical units at distances of nearby star-forming regions. These observations have revealed the annular gap and ring structure, which imply the formation of planets with masses ranging from Neptune to Jupiter. However, high-resolution observations are still limited. Especially, many disks in the low-mass star-forming regions such as Ophiuchus have not yet been studied with such high spatial resolutions, thus their substructures remain poorly understood. This project aims to employ a novel super-resolution imaging technique, which surpasses conventional spatial resolution, to investigate the presence of substructures in Ophiuchus PPDs. The project will utilize ALMA observational data of 50-100 PPDs, which were previously taken but insufficiently spatially resolved. The super-resolution technique will be able to unveil the hidden substructures. The targeted sample contains sources with various evolutionary stages. Using statistical analysis, we can explore how disk substructures evolve as the central stars evolve. In this project, the student will be able to learn the fundamentals of radio astronomy, specifically radio interferometry, as well as develop skills in data analysis and visualization using Python.

Required Background

- Independent and deep thinking - Basic programming ability in Python and Linux OS - Interest in statistics, imaging technique, and data visualization - Intermediate English communication and writing

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