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Constraints on Planet Formation from Kepler’s Multiple Planet Systems

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Elisa Quintana

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

The haul of hundreds of multiple planet systems discovered by the Kepler Mission provides a treasure trove of new clues to constrain how planets form in environments that differ from our own. Employing state-of-the-art dynamical collision models, I numerically explore the late stages of terrestrial planet formation which are dominated by giant impacts that collectively influence their growth, bulk composition and potential habitability. I perform large suites of terrestrial planet formation simulations in diverse environments to produce statistically valuable distributions of planetary systems with parameters constrained by the observed multiple planet systems. By tracking water delivery, core-mass fraction and impact history of Earth-like worlds that form in my simulations, I constrain where habitable planets can form in systems around stars of different masses and with various giant planet and stellar companion configurations. These analyses support target selection for future exoplanet characterization missions.