Population-Level Analysis of Giant Planet Composition and Evolution

Jonathan Fortney (UC Santa Cruz) // May 14, 2018

Abstract: We live in a unique time with the dramatic advancement of exoplanetary science. Beyond population-level analyses of planetary frequency, we can now study some aspects of the physics of the planetary population. In particular, hundreds of transiting gas giant planets with well-determined masses are known. I will discuss what we have learned regarding the composition and metal-enrichment of giant exoplanets from modeling the structure and evolution of the planets as a population, and what it means for our understanding of planet formation. Furthermore, additional insights are enabled by this work on the population, including two novel assessments of the long-sought-after hot Jupiter “radius inflation” mechanism. We can now constrain the magnitude of this inflation mechanism across planetary temperature and stellar age.

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