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Is our Solar System Unique? A Holistic View of Exoplanet Demographics

The Kepler and K2 missions blessed the community with a plethora of planet transit detections which enabled studies of exoplanet size demographics. Much of the recent progress in this field is driven by improved characterization of the stellar hosts. Our group recently used precise radius measurements from the California-Kepler Survey (CKS) to detect a gap in the distribution of planet radii. The paucity of planets with sizes between 1.5 and 2.0 Earth radii supports the emerging picture that close-in planets smaller than Neptune are composed of small, rocky cores enveloped by varying amounts of low-density gas that determine their total sizes. This result demonstrated the value of precise and homogeneous stellar parameters. I will discuss implications of the radius distribution and our ongoing and complimentary work to measure the frequency of giant planets orbiting well beyond the snow line. The occurrence of close-in planets from Kepler combined with the latest results from long-baseline radial velocity surveys allow us to construct a comprehensive picture of planetary system architectures spanning three orders of magnitude in orbital separation and planet mass.

Speaker: B. J. Fulton, Caltech

Thursday, 11/21/19


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Kavli Institute Astrophysics Colloquium

Physics and Astrophysics Building Room 102/103
452 Lomita Mall
Stanford, CA 94305