Presentation #413.03 in the session Multi-Faceted Views of Planet Formation III: Insights into planet formation and properties from proto-planetary disks.
It is hard to see a plane cruising at 10 km during daytime, as the plane is tiny and faint on the sky. But, if we can see the contrail tailed behind the plane, we know where the plane is. Now, astronomers are applying the same technique to study how planets form, by detecting and charactering the structures baby planets produce in their birth cradles — protoplanetary disks. This is a new field largely driven by discoveries made by some of the largest and most advanced telescopes ever built. I will introduce the current status of the field, and highlight some of the latest developments.