New insights into Planet Formation from the Kepler Satellite & our Solar System (Speaker: Hilke Schlichting)

Tuesday, September 17,
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Hilke Schlichting, MIT EAPS

In my talk, I will discuss recent insights that we have gained into planet formation form the Kepler Satellite and our Solar System. I will present a simple model for orbital resonances with dissipation and show that it can explain the surprising paucity of mean motion resonance among exoplanet pairs and discuss its implications for the origin of these systems. In addition, I will talk about the Kuiper belt, located at the outskirts of our planetary system, which provides a snapshot of earlier stages of planet formation and is therefore an ideal laboratory for testing planet formation theories. I will show how we can use the Kuiper belt size distribution to constrain the formation of planets in the outer solar system and the initial sizes of planetesimals that are the building blocks of planets.