Gennaro D’Angelo

Gennaro D’Angelo
Research Scientist
Degree/Major: 
Ph.D., Astrophysics, University of Tübingen, Germany
Major Awards: 

2006 NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship; 2003 UK Astrophysical Fluids Facility Fellowship

Curriculum Vitae: 
Discipline: 
Astrophysics, Planetary Science
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas A. Edison

Gennaro is a Research Scientist with the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute. He carries out his research in the Space Science and Astrobiology Division (Planetary Systems Branch, SST) at the NASA Ames Research Center (NASA-ARC). Before joining the SETI Institute, he held appointments at NASA-ARC, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and at the University of Exeter (UK).

Gennaro is an astrophysicist and planetary scientist whose scientific activity mainly focuses on accretion and protoplanetary disks, and on the formation and evolution of planets. He is also interested in stellar astrophysics. He works on disk-planet tidal interactions, orbital evolution of young planets, core-nucleated accretion of giant planets, satellite formation around giant planets, observational signature of planets in disks, and computational radiation hydrodynamics. He also studies the evolution of planetesimals (the planetary building blocks) in gaseous disks. Generally speaking, his research aims at predicting whether planets can form and what type of planets can form, given a set of initial conditions in a protoplanetary disk. These predictions not only can help us understand the origins of our Solar System but they can also inform us on the occurrence of habitable planets in extrasolar planetary systems.

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Formation of Giant Planets and sub-Neptunes by Core-Nucleated Accretion

The basic objective of this proposal is the improvement of the understanding of the origin and evolution of planets with gaseous envelopes, including gas giants and “sub-Neptunes”, as observed in extrasolar systems. The project will involve numerical modelling and comparison of the results with observations of planets by radial velocities, transits, and direct detections. The calculations will be based on giant and sub-Neptune planet formation through the Core-Nucleated Accretion model (CNA), in which a heavy-element core forms first. Once it has attained sufficient mass, it captures gas from the protoplanetary disk as it continues to accrete solids. Significant improvements in the physics, compared with past work, will be incorporated.

Formation of Solar and Extrasolar Giant Planets by Core-Nucleated Accretion

The objective of the proposed research is the improvement of the understanding of gas giant planet formation through the Core-Nucleated Accretion model, based on constraints derived from solar and extrasolar planet observations.