Nuria Calvet studies the first stages of the life of stars and of the planets around them. Part of her research focuses on protoplanetary disks and their evolution from primordial disks formed in the collapse of molecular cloud cores to debris disks. Her group has developed modeling tools designed to interpret observations of protoplanetary disks in order to understand how the dust and gas change with time and the factors that make them change, like accretion of mass onto the star and the formation of planets. She is also interested in finding and characterizing new disks in young stellar populations.
Magellan, Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra, Spitzer, Herschel.
CIDA Orion Variability Survey, the Spitzer IRS Disk Team, and Herschel Protostar Survey (HOPS) team.
By developing self-consistent physical models that aim to fit observational data from the submillimeter to the far UV, Calvet and her collaborators have helped generate a number of insights into the nature of disk evolution. In the era of ground-based data, she and her collaborators were the first to fully characterize transitional disks, in which the inner region was cleared of dust. With former student Catherine Espaillat, she used Spitzer and NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility to identify pre-transitional disks, with a clear gap in the dust distribution. This lent strong evidence for planet formation as the agent of dust clearing. With student Laura Ingleby, she is aiming to understand what happens to a disk’s gas in its late stages of evolution. Using HST data in the far UV, they have confirmed that the inner disks around young stars can deplete their gas very quickly, in less than a million years. Their findings are putting tight constraints on disk photoevaporation models.
BS, Autonomous National University of Mexico; PhD, University of California, Berkeley. Scientist, Center for Astronomical Research (CIDA)/Venezuela; Graduate Program Staff Member, Central University of Venezuela and University of The Andes; Astrophysicist, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
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