PSJC #191 April 24 2015

Eric Ford (PSU)

Insights into Planet Formation from the Architectures of Exoplanet Systems

For centuries, planet formation theories were fine tuned to explain the details of solar system. The diversity of planetary systems uncovered by Doppler surveys challenged previous theories and led to insights into planet formation, orbital migration and the excitation of orbital eccentricities and inclinations. Recently, NASA's Kepler mission has identified 450 systems with multiple transiting planet candidates, including nearly 1200 planet candidates and many small and potentially rocky planets. I will discuss how Kepler data is being used to characterize the distribution of planetary properties and the architectures of planetary systems. These discoveries are inspiring a new wave of planet formation theories attempting to explain the population of Systems with Tightly-packed Inner Planets (STIPs) discovered by Kepler. I will discuss early efforts to translate Kepler observations into constraints on the formation and orbital evolution of planetary systems.