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Architecture of Kepler planets: an exoplanet perspective of the Solar system

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, April 2, 2018 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Cristobal Petrovich

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Colloquia

Event Details & Abstract: 

The Kepler mission has detected thousands of exoplanets around Sun-like stars. These exoplanets present a wide range of sizes and orbital properties, some of which differ from those in our Solar system. This observation raises the question of whether the Solar system is an atypical outcome of planet formation and evolution. I will argue against this notion from two different extreme view points: the norm and the exception. First, I will show new results for the intrinsic architecture of Kepler planets and discuss what the norm looks like. We find that most Sun-like stars do not host a planet between the size of Earth and Neptune inside 400 days, making our Solar system less atypical than previously thought. I will further discuss how the planetary inclinations and multiplicities might have been sculpted by a phase of giant impacts, similar to the late stages of terrestrial planet formation in our Solar system. Second, I will focus on a set of exceptional evolution paths for the Kepler planets and argue that the rare and puzzling population of ultra short-period planets (periods <1 day), might acquire their extreme orbits through secular dynamical instabilities, similar to those that Mercury can potentially experience in the future.

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