Observing planet formation at close range: Gemini Planet Imager’s view of the TW Hya disk

Observing planet formation at close range: Gemini Planet Imager’s view of the TW Hya disk
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Investigations of star and planet formation have long focused on the rich stellar nurseries of Taurus, Ophiuchus, Chamaeleon, and a handful of similarly nearby (but lower mass) molecular clouds. These regions, which lie just beyond 100 pc, are collectively host to hundreds of low-mass, pre-main sequence (T Tauri) stars with ages of a few million years and less. They hence provide large samples of stars with orbiting circumstellar disks that span a wide range of evolutionary stages.