Disk and planet formation hydrodynamics
at UChile and USACH

Astrophysics group devoted to study the process of planet formation, the interaction of protoplanets with circumstellar disks and their observational consequences via numerical hydrodynamics. Our HPC resources have been funded by the Millennium Nucleus on Protoplanetary Disks (MAD) and CONICYT-FONDEQUIP project EQM140101. The group is an associative effort between USACH and UChile. The HPC clusters are hosted at the Astronomy department at UChile.

Fellowship Available: Postdoctoral position on the hydrodynamics of planet formation.

Observations and hydrodynamics: migrating mini-Neptune explains ring structure

ALMA high resolution images show that the outer ring of the transition disk in HD169142 consists of three narrow rings. Using hydrodynamical modeling we found that a simple explanation, involving a single migrating low mass planet (10 Earth masses), entirely accounts for such an apparently complex phenomenon.

Paper: Dust unveils the formation of a mini-Neptune planet in a protoplanetary ring
by Pérez, Sebastián; Casassus, Simon; Baruteau, C.; Dong, R.; Hales, A.; Cieza, L. (2019)

Two planets, two vortices

Two-dimensional dust and gas hydrodynamic simulations, coupled with radiative transfer, explains the multiple dust concentrations in the MWC758 disk.

Paper: Dust traps in the protoplanetary disc MWC 758: two vortices produced by two giants?
by Baruteau, C.; Barraza, M.; Pérez, S.; Casassus, S.; Dong, R. et al. (2019)

3D hydro of large scale planet-disk interactions

Three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations, coupled with radiative transfer, to study potential evidence of large scale signatures induced in the global kinematics originated from planet-disk interactions.

Paper: Observability of planet-disc interactions in CO kinematics
by Perez, Casassus and Benitez-Llambay (2018)

Spirals induced by illumination effects

Circumstellar asymmetries such as central warps have recently been shown to cast shadows on outer disks. We investigate the hydrodynamical consequences of such variable illumination on the outer regions of a transition disk, and the development of spiral arms.

Paper: Montesinos, M., Perez, S., Casassus, S., et al. (2016), ApJL, 823, L8

Kinematic signatures of circumplanetary disks: the 'kink'

The presence of a circumplanetary disk around a growing protoplanet produces distinct signatures in the kinematics of the protoplanetary disk gas.

Paper: Perez, S., Dunhill, A., Casassus, S., et al. (2015), ApJL, 811, L5

Protoplanetary Disk Visualization (FARGO3D and Blender)

3D render of a protoplanetary disk simulation which shows the perturbations caused by a planet in the gas density field, these can take the form of spiral wakes, open gaps and accumulation of matter near the planet. Visualization by M. Garate.

Paper: Garate (2016), PASP Focus Issue: Techniques and Methods for Astrophysical Data Visualization

HPC resources

Our high performance computing facilities hosted at Universidad de Chile currently consist of:


Belka is a GPU cluster with 4 Tesla K80 cards, using CUDA 6.0 with a peak performance of 15 TFlop/s. This cluster has been funded with the FONDEQUIP grant EQM140101.


Strelka is a CPU cluster which consists of 40 CPU nodes and 4 Xeon Phi cars. This cluster has been funded with the FONDEQUIP grant EQM140101.


CPU cluster (64 nodes, 512 GB memory).


CPU cluster (16 nodes, 256 GB memory).

Acknowledgements and funding bodies

Funding for Belka and Strelka from conicyt FONDEQUIP grant EQM 140101.