You are invited to our next Physics and Astronomy Colloquia event taking place on Tuesday, September 27, from 12:10 - 1 PM in CNS 206/208. At this seminar, we will be joined by Alessandro Morbidelli. Pizza lunch provided!
Presenter: Alessandro Morbidelli (Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur)
Title: The solar and extrasolar planetary systems: differences and similarities
Abstract: The discovery of extrasolar planetary systems has revealed, astonishingly, that our Solar System is not the typical system. Jupiter is the only planet of the Solar System that we can detect around other stars with current technology. Even simplifying the Solar System to the sole Sun-Jupiter couple, observations reveal that it is not more frequent than 1 in a 1000 stars. I will discuss what are believed to be the basic processes leading to the formation of planets, similar for all systems, and what can lead to the observed great diversity of final structures. I will also discuss the possibility that life develops on exotic worlds, i.e. planets radically different from Earth. Super-Earth planets orbiting close to low-mass stars are the best candidates, because of the moderate temperature that can characterize their surface, allowing the existence of liquid water. Nevertheless, several problems can exist, mostly related to tidally locked synchronous rotation, stellar activity and planet composition.