Probing the Copernican Principle: Are We Special?

While the exoplanetary field is replete with remarkable discoveries, perhaps the two most intriguing findings have been the startling abundance of super-Earths – a type of world entirely missing from our solar system, and the detection of hot Jupiters – giant planets orbiting perilously close to their parent stars. The mere existence of these worlds was wholly unpredicted based on the expectations that were gleaned from centuries of observation of our own solar system. In this talk, I will discuss the observational and theoretical efforts we making to address critical gaps currently facing exoplanet research: How did hot Jupiters migrate to their current locations? How does a huge population of super-Earths arise in the inner terrestrial zone of the average star?  and, How can we fit our Solar System into the Big Picture?

Song-Hu Wang
DoA, Rm 2907
Mon, 2017-12-18 12:00 to 13:00