Dr Olja Panic’s PhD projects

Please contact Dr Panic directly if you are interested in this projects.

The missing link between protoplanetary discs and planetary systems.

Recent surveys led by our group have discovered a large number of yet unexplored exosolar analogues to our Kuiper belt – bright discs made of planetesimals and asteroids in orbit around their central stars. In terms of their infrared brightness, these objects populate the poorly understood region between debris and protoplanetary discs, where iconic exemplars of so-called ‘hybrid discs’ reside, such as HD141569 (Miley, Panić, Wyatt & Kennedy, A&A 2018, https://arxiv.org/pdf/1805.02476.pdf). These rare objects, caught in transition between the two stages, are pivotal in answering the question how planet-forming discs of gas and dust evolve into mature planetary systems.

The candidate successful in securing the competitive funding available for this position will carry out follow-up observations and gather archival data needed to fully characterise these discs, search for giant exosolar planets around them and for evidence of gas.

Methodology used in this project will include millimetre interferometry (e.g. ALMA), astrometry (GAIA), infrared (WISE) and varied spectroscopic data from the suite of telescopes at ESO’s Paranal Observatory.