Exoplanet Systems as Laboratories for Planet Formation

Lauren Weiss (Universite de Montreal) // June 4, 2018


Abstract: With the discovery of thousands of exoplanet systems from the NASA Kepler/K2 Mission and the promise of future discoveries from TESS, Gaia, JWST, and next- generation telescopes like TMT, we are closer than ever to understanding how planets form. Patterns in exoplanet demographics, compositions, and planetary system architectures are already revealing the most common pathways of planet formation. I will discuss how using exoplanet systems as laboratories–from the very narrow views of individual system as studied through transits, transit timing variations, and radial velocities–to sweeping views of patterns across many exoplanet systems–test theories of planet formation. In the next ten years, we will measure planet multiplicities, orbital periods, masses, radii, eccentricities, inclinations, obliquities, dynamical interactions, atmospheric compositions, and host star properties using a combination of ground-based and space telescopes. These detailed observations in our exoplanet laboratories will allow us to place the solar system in its galactic context.

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