Thomas Henning How Do Planetary Systems Develop out of a Disk of Young Stars?

Thomas Henning is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, where he heads the Planetary and Star Formation Department. He is also Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Jena as well as Honorary Professor at the University of Heidelberg. Henning’s research is dedicated to the understanding of how stars and planets form; to this end he employs a variety of methods reaching from infrared observations to laboratory experiments. Henning established the Heidelberg Origins of Life Initiative (HIFOL) and is a Co-Investigator of major instrumentation projects such as MIRI for the James Webb Space Telescope. He has been a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina since 1999. In 2009, the asteroid 30882 was named "Tomhenning" in his honour.

Area of Research

Astronomy

Volker Ossenkopf and Thomas Henning. "Dust Opacities for Protostellar Cores." Astronomy and Astrophysics 291 (1994): 943-959.  
Gennaro D'Angelo, Thomas Henning and Wilhelm Kley. "Nested-grid Calculations of Disk-planet Interaction." Astronomy & Astrophysics 385 (2002): 647-670.  
Thomas Henning and Farid Salama. "Carbon in the Universe." Science 282 (1998): 2204-2210.  
Anders Johansen, Hubert Klahr and Thomas Henning. "Gravoturbulent Formation of Planetesimals." The Astrophysical Journal 636 (2006): 1121-1134.  
Thomas Henning, Hendrik Linz, Oliver Krause, Sarah Ragan, Henrik Beuther, Ralf Launhardt, Markus Nielbock and Tatiana Vasyunina. "The Seeds of Star Formation in the Filamentary Infrared-dark Cloud G011. 11–0.12." Astronomy & Astrophysics 518 (2010): No. L95.  
Henrik Beuther, Ralf S. Klessen, Cornelis P. Dullemond and Thomas Henning (Eds.). Protostars and Planets VI. 2014.  

since 2001

Director

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

since 2002

Professor for Astrophysics

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

2000-2007

Director

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

Astrophysical Institute and University Observatory

1999-2002

Chair for Astrophysics

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

1999

Guest Professorship

University of Amsterdam

1992-1998

Professor for Astrophysics

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

1991-1996

Head

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Research Unit “Star Formation“

1988

Habilitation

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

1986-1988

Assistant Professor

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

University Observatory

1984-1985

Postdoc

Charles University

1984

PhD in Astrophysics

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

1981

Diploma

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

1980-1981

Studies in Physics and Astronomy

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

1976-1980

Studies in Physics

University of Greifswald

Program Committee DFG priority program “Interstellar Matter” (since 2011)

Member of ESO Council (since 2007)

Member of Scientific Council of the Thuringian State Observatory Tautenburg, Germany (since 2007)

Member of the ELT Design Study Steering Committee (since 2006)

Member Representative of LBT Board (2010 - 2012)

Chair LBT Board (2010 - 2012)

Member of Dutch Academy Professor Prize Committee (2010 - 2012)

Chair of ERC Advanced Grant Panel "Universe Science” (2008 - 2012)

Vice President ESO Council (2008 - 2011)

Co-Chair, DFG Research Group “Laboratory Astrophysics”, Germany (2000 - 2007)

Spokesperson of the DFG Priority Program “Physics of Star Formation“ (1995 - 2006)

Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy, Bonn, Germany (1989 - 1990)

Fellowships

Member, German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (since 1999)

Prizes

Asteroid named “Tomhenning” (2009)

Fundamental Research, State of Thuringia, Germany (1997)

© Maximilian Dörrbecker

Max Planck Society


"The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals are proof of the outstanding research work conducted at Max Planck Institutes – and many of those articles are among the most-cited publications in the relevant field." (Source)

Institute

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

How do stars and planets form? What can we learn about planets orbiting stars other than the Sun? How do galaxies form, and how have they changed in the course of cosmic history?

Those are the central questions guiding the work of the scientists and engineers at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg. The institute was founded in 1967, and it is one of roughly 80 institutes of the Max Planck Society, Germany's largest organizations for basic research.

MPIA has a staff of around 290, three quarters of which are working in sci-tech. At any given time, the institute features numerous junior scientists and guest scientists both from Germany and abroad. (Source)

Map

Over the last two decades the discovery of planets outside our solar systems has enabled researchers to study how planetary systems form - the major question within the field of astronomy today. These planetary systems and the respective planets vary significantly from each other. In order to understand how these differences come about, the research presented in this video goes back to the birth sites of planets and investigates how they form out of the gas and dust in the disk of young stars. THOMAS HENNING explains that, due to the small nature of the objects and the low mass of the disks, the researchers employed two complementary telescope technologies to reach the necessary spatial resolution and sensitivity. Combining this with numerical simulations and laboratory experiments, the research team was able to observe the growth process of planets and characterize the chemical composition of the disks. The results indicate that the variety in the molecular content of the disks triggers diverse planet properties.

LT Video Publication DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10363

The VLA View of the HL Tau Disk: Disk Mass, Grain Evolution, and Early Planet Formation

  • Carlos Carrasco-González, Thomas Henning, Claire J. Chandler, Hendrik Linz, Laura Pérez, Luis F. Rodríguez, Roberto Galván-Madrid, Guillem Anglada, Til Birnstiel and Roy van Boekel
  • The Astrophysical Journal Letters
  • Published in 2016

Chicago

Carlos Carrasco-González, Thomas Henning, Claire J. Chandler, Hendrik Linz, Laura Pérez, Luis F. Rodríguez, Roberto Galván-Madrid, Guillem Anglada, Til Birnstiel and Roy van Boekel. "The VLA View of the HL Tau Disk: Disk Mass, Grain Evolution, and Early Planet Formation." The Astrophysical Journal Letters 821 (2016): 1-14.