National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | CH-3012 Bern | Switzerland
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Disks & Planets


Project Leader: Prof. Hans Martin Schmid

We aim to observationally attack two questions central to the formation and evolution of planetary systems:

  1. What are the initial conditions of planet formation and how do the systems evolve dynamically?
  2. Where, when, and how frequently do giant planets form around normal stars?





Initial Conditions, Structure, and Evolution of Circumstellar Disks

Prof. Hans Martin Schmid

Our approach to the first question requires combination of direct images of circumstellar discs (in thermal emission as well as scattered starlight) with analyses of their emergent spectral energy distributions (SED), to understand the geometric distribution of dust (as a function of grain size and composition) around stars (0.5 M ¤ to 2.5 M ¤ ), as a function of time (1 Myr to several Gyr).

Detection and Characterization of Exoplanets

Dr. Sascha Quanz

Our approach to the second question will be to exploit ground-based adaptive optics imaging surveys (e.g., NACO-VLT, SPHERE, ERIS), mainly by investing in new exoplanet detection algorithms, in order to directly image and characterize exoplanets not accessible to the radial velocity (RV) and transit techniques, and complementary to future results of the CHEOPS Project.



Formation of a planetary system (11/13/2014) - Image at 7 mm wavelength of the dusty disk around the star HD 169142 obtained with the Very Large Array (VLA) at 7 mm wavelength....
Baby-planets around a nearby star (11/13/2014) - This graphic is an artist’s conception of the young massive star HD100546 and its surrounding disk. Image Credit: P. of Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF An international...
Weather on an Exo-Neptune (11/13/2014) - Image at 7 mm wavelength of the dusty disk wholesale jerseys around the star HD 169142 obtained with the Very Large Array (VLA) at 7...
The Birth of a Planet (7/1/2015) - Astronomers of PlanetS have confirmed the existence of a young gas giant planet that is still embedded in the gas and dust rich disk around...
Mysterious structures (10/7/2015) - A research team has observed structures racing out from the centre of a young star’s debris disk at high speeds. “It looks as if someone...
First Circumbinary Planet System with Disc (2/10/2016) - Planet-hunting SPHERE Images First Circumbinary Planet System with Disc HD 106906AB is a double star located in the constellation of Crux (The Southern Cross). Astronomers...
Water in the atmosphere of Kappa And b (3/18/2016) - New estimate of the water abundance in a planetary mass object spatially resolved from its host star.  Dr. Kamen Todorov of ETH led a team...
Workshop on Circumplanetary Disks (7/1/2016) - Twenty-eight NCCR PlanetS researchers representing six out of the seven research projects met on 7 June at the ETH in Zurich to discuss the properties...
ETH welcomes the ERIS Consortium to the Hönggerberg! (7/19/2016) - On 19-20 July, approximately 30 scientists and engineers representing five partner institutions met on the ETH Honggerberg campus to review progress on the Enhanced Resolution...
Supernova ejecta pollute young planetary systems (8/10/2016) - The early phase of star and planet formation can be very violent. Usually, dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of stars are born closely together in...


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Project Leader P1.1
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SNSF Ambizione Fellow
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