Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

Evolutionary Processes in Young Binary Systems

13Thursday, Nov. 13
Professor Jeffrey Bary - Colgate University
4:00 PM

The recent discoveries of circumbinary planets not only increase the diversity of known exoplanetary systems, but also highlight the importance of studying and understanding the evolution of young binary and higher order multi-star systems.  In a young binary system, there is the potential for a large, circumbinary disk surrounding the forming, inner stars, each of which may possess its own circumstellar disk.  The interactions between the stellar cores, circumstellar disks, and circumbinary disks shape the resulting planetary systems, as well as determine the likelihood of their formation.  In this talk, I present results from two studies seeking insights into the complex nature of these star-disk-disk interactions.  First, I present Gemini North and ALMA observations as direct evidence of "streamers" of material moving inward from the well-studied circumbinary disk towards the central stars+disks that make up the GG Tau A system.  Second, I present an infrared spectroscopic study that shows orbitally-modulated accretion activity from the DQ Tau system and what appears to be a rare, but strong accretion event timed near apastron, when the stellar cores are closest to the inner edge of the circumbinary disk.  Both studies seek to shed light on the evolutionary processes of complex planetary systems.