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University of Michigan Department of Astronomy1014 Dennison Building500 Church Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Office Location(s): 1014 Dennison
NSF Fellowship | BS, University of Rochester/NY | Advisor: Nuria Calvet
Melissa McClure is looking at the clouds and early disks around young stars to gain insight into how diffuse dust grains crystallize and lump together — ultimately creating conditions for planets to form. She is looking at both the physical changes in the particles — how they go from amorphous dust grains to highly structured silicate crystals — and also the transport mechanisms — how these crystals are carried to the outer reaches of the disk. McClure is taking advantage of the crystals’ unique spectral signatures to explore their location, density, and movement within the disk. She is using Spitzer data to determine the composition of the disks’ planet-forming regions; Herschel data to examine their outer regions; and Magellan data to assess stellar parameters and the innermost disk edge. Using models co-developed by her advisor, McClure hopes to further clarify where in these disks terrestrial planets are likely to form.
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830 Dennison500 Church St.
Ann Arbor, MI