Exoplanet Physics Seminar
Place: Campbell Hall 544
Time: Fridays at 10:30am

Volunteers are still needed to present some papers, see blank entries below.
Head Organizers: Margaret Pan, Andrew Howard, Edwin Kite, Lucianne Walkowicz, Heather Knutson

Week Topic & Theme Readings
January 21

Organizational Meeting and Kepler overview lecture?
Theme: Organize class. Overview of Kepler mission.

No reading

January 28 Gliese 581 - How to do you know it's a planet?
Theme: How do you know when a claimed planet is real?
Vogt et al. (2010); Gregory et al. (2011)
February 4 Kepler data and planet verification
Theme: Overview of new Kepler data. What trends are emerging? How are planets verified with Kepler?

Borucki et al. (2011) - overview of new Kepler data; Torres et al. (2011) - planet validation. Presenters: Howard Isaacson and ____________.

February 11 Small planets from Kepler
Theme: What do the new small planet discoveries from Kepler tell us? Possible discussions of habitability and of the meaning of 'super-Earth'.

Batalha et al. (2011) (Kepler 10b discovery); Lissauer et al (2011). Presenters: ____________ and Erik Petigura.

February 18 Close-in planet population distributions from RV and Kepler
Theme: What are the distributions of planets in mass-period and radius-period space? What does this tell us about planet formation and migration?
Howard et al. (2010) on RV planet occurrence distributions; forthcoming paper on Kepler planet occurrence distributions. Presenter: Andrew Howard.
February 25 Transit Timing Variations (TTV), planet-planet interactions and migration mechanishms for close-in planets.
Theme: What can TTVs tell us about planetary systems?
Agol et al. (2005) and Wu & Lithwick (2010). Optional: Holman et al. (2010) and Holman & Murray(2005). Presenters: Margaret Pan (Agol paper) and Brad Cenko.
March 4

Spin-orbit science
Theme: What do Rossiter-McLaughlin measurements tell use about planet migration mechanisms?

Winn et al. (2010) on "Hot Stars with Hot Jupiters have High Inclinations", Triaud et al. (2010) on "Dynamical Origin of Hot Jupiters", Morton and Johnson (2010) for a discussion of the predicted spin-orbit distributions for different migration mechanisms vs. the data in Winn et al. and Triaud et al. Presenters: Aaron Lee and James McBride.
March 11

Super-earth atmospheres, with GJ 1214b as a case study.
Theme: What properties can we measure for super-Earths, and what kinds of systems are best suited for these studies? Compare the properties of the GJ 1214 system (planet-star radius ratio, K band brightness) with the transiting super-Earths discovered by the Kepler mission.

Charbonneau et al. (2009) on the discovery of GJ 1214b, Bean et al. (2010) on the first measurements of GJ 1214b's atmosphere. Presenters: Mate Adamkovics and Heather Knutson.

Optional reading

March 18

Star-planet interactions
Theme: How can a star strip a planetary atmosphere? We will examine the effects of stellar winds and Roche-lobe overlow. How might these processes affect the low-mass, short-period planets discovered by the Kepler and CoRoT missions?

Li et al. (2010) on predicted tidal effects and Roche-lobe overflow in the WASP-12 system, Jackson et al. (2010) on tidal evolution and evaporative mass loss for CoRoT-7b. Optional supplemental reading: Murray-Clay et al. (2009) on wind-driven mass loss and Linsky et al. (2010) on observational constraints on mass loss for the hot Jupiter HD 209458b. Presenters: Tess McEnulty and Edwin Kite.

March 25 Spring Break  
April 1 How do you inflate a gas giant planet?
Theme: Can Ohmic dissipation explain inflated hot Jupiters? Are there any other plausible inflation mechanisms?
Batygin et al. (2011) on ohmic dissipation, Laughlin et al. (2011) on an observational correlation between planet temperature and the amount of excess inflation. Presenters: Prateek Sharma and ________________.
April 8

Non-equilibrium chemistry in planetary atmospheres
Theme: How well do we understand chemistry in planetary atmospheres? Can we make accurate a priori predictions for extrasolar planets, or must we always rely on observational constraints?

Stevenson et al. (2010) on the balance between methane and CO in the atmosphere of the 800 K, Neptune-sized planet GJ 436b, and Visscher et al. (2010) on new models for carbon- and oxygen-based chemistry in Jupiter's atmosphere. Presenters: Tess McEnulty and Zack Geballe.
April 15 Transiting planets around compact stellar objects.
Theme: What happens to planetary systems as stars evolve? Can planets survive at short orbital periods, or if not, could they migrate inwards at a later date? Could planets around white dwarfs remain habitable?
Agol (2011) on planets orbiting white dwarfs. Presenter: Eric Agol.
April 22 Imaging: New planet discovery and characterization
Theme: How can we determine the properties (mass, radius, composition, temperature, age) of directly imaged planets?

Kalas et al. (2008) on the discovery of Fomalhaut b, Marois et al. (2008) on the discovery of HR 8799b, c, and d, and Lagrange et al. (2010) on the discovery of Beta Pic b. Presenters: Erik Petigura and Paul Kalas.
April 29 Imaging: Dynamics
Theme: Dynamical mass determinations from planet-planet and planet-disk interactions.

Chiang et al. (2009) on planet-disk interactions in the Fomalhaut system, and Fabrycky & Murray-Clay (2010) on stability constraints on the HR 8799 system. Presenters: Katie Silverio and Daniel Perez-Becker. TBD