Dr Cecilia Lazzoni
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Telephone: 01392 726607
Extension: (Streatham) 6607
Overview. As main research interest, I study exoplanets and debris disks detected with the direct imaging technique. In the past years, I mostly worked with the SPHERE/VLT instrument and leaded many projects within the SHINE/SPHERE exoplanets survey. I work on dynamical interactions between planets and debris disks and on the multiplicity of exoplanets and brown dwarfs.
Second generation dusty disks frequently surround main sequence stars and they often show features such as luminosity asymetries, warps and gaps. The latter are usually explained with the presence of planets which act as perturbers on planetesimals and dust particles in the disk. We have a direct experience of this phenomena in our own Solar System, where the debris disk is composed of two belts (the asteroid and Kuiper belts) and a gap therein filled by four giant planets. To the aim of understanding how frequent are Solar-like planetary systems in our Universe, I work with analytical tools that can model putative planetary architectures responsible for shaping gaps in observed debris disks.
For what regards multiplicity of planets and brown dwarfs, I work with pipelines which are intended to subtract the contribution of directly imaged substellar objects and look for satellites (and possibly ring-like features) in their close vicinity. Current most performing instruments, such as SPHERE/VLT and GPI/Gemini, could detect only massive exomoons in the form of gas-giant planets more than classic Moon-like rocky satellites. Following the recent discovery of two of these giant exomoons around Kepler-1625 b and DH Tau b, I am studying the possible formation mechanisms of planet-planet pairs through gravitational instability and dynamical capture.
Publication. My publications record can be found here