TAP Colloquium - Dr. Yanqin Wu
A Uniform Population of Planets
Dr. Yanqin Wu
University of Toronto
A large number of close-in super-Earths have now been discovered. How they form, and how they relate to other classes of planets, remain unsolved. In this talk, I will discuss recent progress regarding their masses, their composition, and their companion planets, leading to the conclusion that super-Earths make up a surprisingly uniform population. This uniformity is unpredicted and brings new insights to the theory of planet formation.
Two side points: planet census indicates that planetary systems like our own, with low-mass terrestrials inside and cold giants outside, are likely rare in the Milky Way; Kepler planets have interesting connections to the formation of stellar binaries.