Institution(s): 1. Universidad Diego Portales
Transition objects (protoplanetary disks with inner holes and gaps) have gained significant interest in the last few years as valuable laboratories to study disk evolution and planet formation. Many recent studies have focused on a few individual targets that show intriguing features, such as spiral arms, rings, and asymmetries. These features are often interpreted as evidence for planet formation processes. However, current statistics on extrasolar planets imply that most circumstellar disks should be forming planets (big or small). Also, transition disks are a very heterogenous group of objects with a wide range of properties; therefore, in addition to studying individual targets in detail, it is important to investigate the distribution of properties (disk masses, accretion rates, multiplicity, etc) of transition disks and how they compare to those of non-transition objects. In this talk, I will review the results from demographic studies of transition disks in nearby molecular clouds and the constraints they impose to both disk evolution and planet formation theory.