A Bird's Eye View of Extrasolar Planets
One startling result from the Kepler mission was that nearly every Sun-like star has a planet between the size of Earth and Neptune. Given the lack of such planets orbiting the Sun, Kepler has demonstrated that the Solar System is not a typical outcome of planet formation, in at least that one key respect. Therefore, to build a complete understanding of planet formation physics, we must look to extrasolar planets. I will present some new insights into the physics of planet formation, made possible by advances in the exoplanet census and our understanding of planet host stars. This bird's eye view sheds light on where planets form, the speed at which they are assembled, and how they are sculpted by high-energy radiation from their host stars.
[No refreshments served at this noontime talk.]