Close-in Planets: From Hot Jupiters to Super Moons


Wednesday, October 31 2012 - 12:00 pm, PDT
Eugene Chiang
Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley

The closest-in planets, with periods as short as 10 hours, are now a well-established population, thanks to Doppler and transit surveys. They present a number of challenges: how did they form and achieve their tight orbits, and how do they evolve and survive in the face of intense irradiation from their parent stars? Although orbital migration is often invoked, the possibility of in-situ accretion deserves consideration, and Dr. Chiang will review how rocky cores coagulate and acquire gaseous envelopes at the smallest disk radii. In some cases, gas envelopes are susceptible to evaporation, and Dr. Chiang will describe how close-in planets lose mass via thermal winds driven by stellar heating. The curious case of Kepler Input Catalog 12557548 --- which may represent the first example of a geologically active, Moon-sized planet in its final death throes --- will be presented.

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