In the 1980s, excess infrared emission was discovered around main-sequence stars ; subsequent direct-imaging observations revealed orbiting disks of cold dust to be the source. These `debris disks’ were thought to be by-products of planet formation because they often exhibited morphological and brightness asymmetries that may result from gravitational perturbation by planets. This was proved (...)
The mechanisms governing planet formation are not fully understood. A new era of high-resolution imaging of protoplanetary disks has recently started, thanks to new instruments such as SPHERE, GPI, and ALMA. The planet formation process can now be directly studied by imaging both planetary companions embedded in disks and their effect on disk (...)
Debris disks offer valuable insights into the latest stages of circumstellar disk evolution, and can possibly help us to trace the outcomes of planetary formation processes. In the age range 10 to 100\,Myr, most of the gas is expected to have been removed from the system, giant planets (if any) must have already been formed, and the formation of terrestrial planets may be (...)
The protoplanetary disk around the F-type star HD 135344B (SAO 206462) is in a transition stage and shows many intriguing structures both in scattered light and thermal (sub-)millimeter emission which are possibly related to planet formation processes.