ASIAA Summer Students Program
ASIAA Summer Student Program 2024
July 1 - August 30

2024 Project Description

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Exploring the Substructures of Protoplanetary Disks with ALMA Super-resolution Imaging

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 form in protoplanetary disks (PPDs), which are a mixture of gas and dust surrounding young stars. The structure and evolution of PPDs are thought to be inextricably linked to the formation of planets. The advent of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made it possible to observe PPDs with high spatial resolution, down to 5-15 astronomical units, at distances from nearby star-forming regions. These observations have revealed the annular gap and ring structure, suggesting the formation of planets with masses ranging from Neptune to Jupiter. However, high-resolution observations are still limited. In particular, many disks in the low-mass star-forming regions have not yet been studied at such high spatial resolution, so their substructures remain poorly understood. This project will use a novel super-resolution imaging technique with sparse modeling (software's name : PRIISM) that goes beyond the spatial resolution of any conventional imaging technique. With this imaging technique, we will target several PPDs and aim to reveal hidden substructures, such as gaps and rings, that may be carved by a giant planet. If we identify these substructures, we will discuss the inferred planet mass derived from a planet-disk interaction model using the gap size measurement. This project will allow the student to learn the basics of radio astronomy, in particular radio interferometry and synthesis imaging with ALMA data, and to develop skills in data analysis using Python. It would be possible for the selected student to continue to work on this project after this program is completed.

Required Background

- Independent and deep thinking - Basic programming skills in Python and Linux OS - Interest in image processing and data visualization - Intermediate English speaking and writing skills

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