Star and Planet Formation

Group Leader: Manuel Güdel

HH 211

HH 211 [Credit: ESA/Webb, NASA, CSA, T. Ray (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies)]

Star and Planet Formation

The Star and Planet Formation Group aims at a better understanding of the formation and evolution of stellar and planetary systems. We investigate the dynamics and chemistry of protoplanetary and debris disks and the long-term evolution of the thermo-chemical structure of planetary atmospheres. The team tackles the quest for habitable planets, supported by its active participation in ESA/NASA mission consortia (JWST, Cheops, PLATO, Ariel, Smile, Athena, Arrakihs), ESO’s METIS instrument on the ELT, and also the new exoplanet observatory MARVEL.

Research focus

  • Formation of stellar systems: We explore the formation of stars and their interaction with their environment, ranging from protostars to jets, disks, and winds.
  • Structure and chemical composition of protoplanetary and debris disks: We study how and where planets form,  and investigate the evolution of planetary systems.
  • Evolution and diversity of planetary atmospheres: We uncover the past of Earth and other planets by investigating the host star interactions with planetary atmospheres.
  • Planetary habitability: We investigate the intricate astrophysical conditions that determine if a planet becomes habitable. One of our main questions is whether Earth is unique.
  • Stellar activity: We study stellar high-energy radiation, winds, magnetic fields, and rotation, constraining the host star’s environment over the planetary system’s lifetime.