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Some Disassembly Required

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Planetary systems are shaped as much by destructive processes— N-body instabilities, catastrophic impacts, and atmospheric loss— as by accretionary ones. We examine the histories of violence written in: (a) the orbital architectures of super-Earths and sub-Neptunes; (b) the scattered light morphologies of debris disks; (c) chondritic meteorites and high-temperature minerals in comets; and (d) the chaotically variable light curves of disintegrating planets.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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