Rice University

Events at Rice

Seminar

Physics & Astronomy

Speaker: Konstantin Batygin
California Institute of Technology

AU - ORIGINS OF ORBITAL ARCHITECTURES OF CLOSE-IN EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
12:00 PM  to 12:50 PM

227  Herman Brown Hall
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

In the past two decades, the discovery and characterization of thousands of exoplanets has ranked among the most exciting developments in all of science. The recent triumph of the Kepler mission has not only shown that planet formation is relentlessly efficient within the Galaxy, but that the dominant mode of planet formation is one that produces so-called Super-Earths (often in multiples) with orbital periods less than ~100 days. Normalized by the mass of the parent body, the orbital configurations of these systems often resemble the solar system’s giant planet satellites. Nevertheless, there exists an important distinction: the preference for orbital resonances, that is strikingly clear within the solar system, is almost entirely absent in the extrasolar realm. Theoretically, orbital resonances should arise naturally as a consequence of planet-disk interactions, and their relative dearth among Super-Earths poses a critical challenge to planet formation theory. In this talk, I will discuss a promising avenue towards a resolution of this puzzle.

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