[PAST EVENT] Colloquium - Erin Ryan, NASA Goddard

October 9, 2015
4pm - 5pm
Small Hall, Room 110
300 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Recent searches for exoplanetary systems from ground based telescopic surveys and the Kepler mission have shown that planetary systems are common within our galaxy, however the current configuration of our solar system may not be an accurate prototype for other planetary systems. In particular, the discovery of a number of hot Jupiters have been found at distances from their host stars that confounds the current planet formation models unless a form of planetary migration is invoked. Concurrently with the first hot Jupiter detections, the planetary science community recognized the potential for planet migration to shape our own Solar System. Numerous lines of evidence within the Solar System suggest that giant planet migration had a significant impact on shaping the dynamical orbits and small body populations we witness today.

Although the planets have undergone alteration due to heating and differentiation, the compositions of the small bodies in the solar system can be treated as time capsules from the early epoch of planet formation. The compositions of comets and asteroids are key to understanding planetary migration in our solar system, and even how volatiles such as water could have been transported from the outer reaches of Kuiper Belt into the inner solar system. I will discuss results on comet and asteroid compositions and the boundaries they place on planetary migration models and the origin of volatiles in the inner solar system.