Origins of Structure in Planetary Systems


Tuesday, February 21 2017 - 12:00 pm, PST
Ruth Murray-Clay
UC Santa Cruz

Observations confirm that planet formation is a ubiquitous process that produces a diversity of planetary systems. However, a class of solar system analogs has yet to be identified among the thousands of currently known planets and candidates, the overwhelming majority of which are more easily detectable than direct counterparts of the Sun's worlds. To understand whether our solar system’s history was unusual and, more generally, to properly characterize the galactic population of extrasolar planets, we must identify how differences in formation environment translate into different planetary system architectures. In this talk, Dr. Murray-Clay will consider our solar system in the context of theoretical advances in planet formation driven by the study of extrasolar planets. Along the way, she will discuss several examples of physical processes operating at different stages of planet formation that imprint observable structures on the dynamical and compositional demographics of planetary systems.

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