Orbits and Densities of Kepler Planets
Yanqin Wu (Toronto) - April 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm
What have we learned from the thousands of planet candidates
discovered by the Kepler satellite? We learn that most,
if not all, Kepler planets are closely packed, orbiting
in nearly circular, coplanar orbits. We learn that they
have masses of order 10 Earth Masses, with densities that
span two orders of magnitude. We also infer that most of
them were overlaid with hydrogen atmospheres at birth.
I will review how these conclusions are obtained.
But the existence of such planets remain as puzzling as ever.
Their ability to hold on to survival, despite close proximity
to the host stars, their peculiar orbital structure that leaves
little imprint of the assembly process, and their internal
composition, all place interesting constraints on the theory of origin.
The seminar will be held in B-5 Hearst Field Annex.
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