University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > DAMTP Astro Mondays > Tidal Sculpting of Short-Period Exoplanets

Tidal Sculpting of Short-Period Exoplanets

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  • UserSarah Millholland - Princeton University
  • ClockMonday 24 May 2021, 14:00-15:00
  • HouseOnline.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Cleo Loi.

Multiple-planet systems composed of close-in super-Earth/sub-Neptune-sized planets are ubiquitous, representing a dominant outcome of planet formation. This population exhibits predictable hallmarks of architectural regularity and uniformity, such as low eccentricities and inclinations, similar orbital spacings, and intra-system correlations in planetary masses and radii. On top of this first-order structure, however, these systems also exhibit surprising anomalies that require explanation. Examples include (1) ultra-short period planets, whose extremely-irradiated orbits have been separated off from the rest of their systems; (2) planets piled up wide of mean-motion resonances; and (3) a subset of Neptune-sized planets that show signs of radius inflation. In this talk, I will propose that tidal dynamics can account for these specific anomalies and more. Specifically, I will discuss the critical role of enhanced tidal dissipation due to non-zero planetary axial tilts (obliquities), which arise by way of prevalent dynamical resonances. I will highlight strategies for testing these tidal theories and observing obliquities directly in the future.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Astro Mondays series.

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