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Nano-particles in Proto-Planetary Discs

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A very small number of discs around young stars host hydrogenated nano-diamonds. These nano-particles were discovered in meteorites on Earth in the 1930s, and their infrared signatures were first found in space environments in 1980. The origins of the particles are obscure, even in the solar system, and most astronomers have been happily oblivious of the whole topic. I will discuss an unexpected outcome of our observations made to track grain growth in proto-planetary discs, where the only three systems known to host nano-diamonds also showed anomalous microwave emission. This serendipitous result has led to a well-evidenced carrier-particle for AME (after twenty years of debate), using the well characterised environments of circumstellar discs.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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