Elisabetta Rigliaco



AstroFIt 2 – COFUND fellow since October 1, 2016.

Project ended on March 31, 2020.

INAF Research Centre: Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova

Email: elisabetta.rigliaco at inaf.it

Curriculum vitae

List of publications

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Project title: ANADIPLOSIS – ANAlysis of Dispersal Indicators in PLanet-fOrming circumStellar dISks


The ANADIPLOSIS is one of the most used rhetoric terms, even if often we do not recognize it as such: Disks form planets, the same planets that hide the life we are all looking for. Protoplanetary disks are the nurseries of planets, and the evolution and dispersal of those disks is controlled by the concurrent action of different physical mechanisms that include accretion onto the star, photoevaporation by the stellar radiation, and planet formation.

The way how these different mechanisms interplay influences the formation of planetary systems.

I propose to conduct a study aimed at detecting disk dispersal indicators in young, planet-forming disks. The analysis of these indicators is needed in order to provide more quantitative information on the rate at which the star is photoevaporating, to be compared with the rate at which the star is accreting. Understanding when photoevaporation takes over accretion as dominating disk dispersal process is crucial for planet formation. Indeed, starting from that point on, the disk dispersal proceeds very fast terminating the epoch of giant planet formation.

To reach this goal I will conduct an analysis of high-resolution spectra both of T Tauri stars and Herbig Ae/Be stars aimed at identifying the component connected with the photoevaporation, and at pinnig down the driving radiation of the photoevaporation (hence the mass loss rate). Moreover, I will use the new-generation imager SPHERE to provide for the first time the community with an image of a photoevaporating disk, from which we can learn more about the physical region of the disk that is photoevaporating.

Given its involvement within the SPHERE consortium, and given that my expertise are perfectly  complementary to the research topics of the Stellar Evolution and Exoplanets group at AOPD, INAF- Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova is the perfect location to carry out these studies. It will allow me to synergically work with the Italian experts of SPHERE, at the same time bringing to the group a disk perspective to their work.