Measuring the composition of exocomets
The Beta Pictoris system is a young planetary system embedded in a debris disk that is continually replenished by the collision and evaporation of planetesimals and exocomets. As a result of the edge-on inclination of the debris disk, the gas component of the disk and transiting exocomets can be observed in great detail using absorption spectroscopy. I am currently working on measuring the composition of the exocomets so that I can trace the condensation and evaporation processes present in the late stages of planetary formation to get an insight into the origins of the exocomets of the Beta Pictoris system.
Image credit: Credit: ESO/L. Calçada