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2008 Annual Science Report

University of Colorado, Boulder Reporting  |  JUL 2007 – JUN 2008

Planet Formation and Dynamical Modeling

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

We have extended models of terrestrial planet formation to new domains such as around low-mass stars and binary stars. We are developing a new model for the origin of carbon on the Earth and other habitable planets, based on studies of meteoritics, protoplanetary disk structure, and planetary accretion. We have also studied the long-term tidal-orbital evolution of habitable zone planets around low-mass stars, and found that in some cases planets may form in the habitable zone but evolve in to hotter orbits because of tidal effects. We have studied the formation of close-in terrestrial planets (e.g., “super-Earths”) and have shown that with high-precision transit and radial velocity information it may be possible to uniquely determine the formation mechanism. We have studied the dynamics of extra-solar planetary systems – in 2007 we were the first to successfully predict the mass and orbit of an exoplanet. We continue to develop new models for the formation and evolution of planets both in our own solar system and around other stars.

    Sean Raymond Sean Raymond
    Project Investigator
    Rory Barnes Rory Barnes
    Monika Kress Monika Kress
    Victoria Meadows Victoria Meadows
    John Scalo
    Objective 1.1
    Models of formation and evolution of habitable planets

    Objective 3.1
    Sources of prebiotic materials and catalysts

    Objective 6.2
    Adaptation and evolution of life beyond Earth