Molecules with ALMA at Planet-forming Scales (MAPS). I. Program overview and highlights

Karin I. Öberg*, Viviana V. Guzmán, Catherine Walsh, Yuri Aikawa, Edwin A. Bergin, Charles J. Law, Ryan A. Loomis, Felipe Alarcón, Sean M. Andrews, Jaehan Bae, Jennifer B. Bergner, Yann Boehler, Alice S. Booth, Arthur D. Bosman, Jenny K. Calahan, Gianni Cataldi, L. Ilsedore Cleeves, Ian Czekala, Kenji Furuya, Jane HuangJohn D. Ilee, Nicolas T. Kurtovic, Romane Le Gal, Yao Liu, Feng Long, François Ménard, Hideko Nomura, Laura M. Pérez, Chunhua Qi, Kamber R. Schwarz, Anibal Sierra, Richard Teague, Takashi Tsukagoshi, Yoshihide Yamato, Merel L. R. van't Hoff, Abygail R. Waggoner, David J. Wilner, Ke Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

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Planets form and obtain their compositions in dust- and gas-rich disks around young stars, and the outcome of this process is intimately linked to the disk chemical properties. The distributions of molecules across disks regulate the elemental compositions of planets, including C/N/O/S ratios and metallicity (O/H and C/H), as well as access to water and prebiotically relevant organics. Emission from molecules also encodes information on disk ionization levels, temperature structures, kinematics, and gas surface densities, which are all key ingredients of disk evolution and planet formation models. The Molecules with ALMA at Planet-forming Scales (MAPS) ALMA Large Program was designed to expand our understanding of the chemistry of planet formation by exploring disk chemical structures down to 10 au scales. The MAPS program focuses on five disks-around IM Lup, GM Aur, AS 209, HD 163296, and MWC 480-in which dust substructures are detected and planet formation appears to be ongoing. We observed these disks in four spectral setups, which together cover ~50 lines from over 20 different species. This paper introduces the Astrophysical Journal Supplement's MAPS Special Issue by presenting an overview of the program motivation, disk sample, observational details, and calibration strategy. We also highlight key results, including discoveries of links between dust, gas, and chemical substructures, large reservoirs of nitriles and other organics in the inner disk regions, and elevated C/O ratios across most disks. We discuss how this collection of results is reshaping our view of the chemistry of planet formation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages29
JournalAstrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Astrochemistry
  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Planet formation
  • Astrobiology
  • Millimeter astronomy
  • Submillimeter astronomy


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