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M. Juric, S. Tremaine (Princeton University)
There are over ~150 extrasolar planetary system known today. Most are a few Gyr old. They have unexpected mass, eccentricity and semimajor axis distributions, with ``Hot Jupiters'' being the most striking new find. It is an open question how one creates the types of planetary systems we observe. A large piece of the answer is probably hidden in the planet formation process that occurs in the first Myr after star formation, but it is likely that planet formation theory alone does not provide a complete answer.
After the planets have formed, they undergo billions of years of dynamical evolution and mutual interactions. I investigate how significant this evolution is in setting the final properties of planetary systems, and what can be learnt from it about the initial conditions after planet formation. To do this, I integrate ensembles of ~103 planetary systems over Gyr timescales. I look at the statistics of their dynamical properties, and how they change with time. I show it is possible to reproduce a number of the observed dynamical properties of extrasolar planets entirely as a consequence of dynamical evolution.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.