Holiday Tales of Planet Formation: Feast, Famine, or…?
1 LeConte Hall
Joan Najita (NOAO)
The large number and diversity of planetary systems discovered to date present new challenges for planet formation theory. Core accretion remains the dominant paradigm of planet formation, despite these challenges. Yet what evidence do we have that core accretion actually occurs? I will discuss observations of nearby protoplanetary disks that may address this question. I will also illustrate how a comparison of protoplanetary disk and exoplanet populations lends insights into the timescale and efficiency of the planet formation process, i.e., when it begins and whether it is "easy", "hard", or something else.