We have an upcoming workshop at ELSI on November 14-18, 2016, organised by Matthieu Laneuville (ELSI), Lena Noack (Royal Observatory of Belgium), Johanna Teske (Carnegie Institution) and Cayman Unterborn (Arizona State University).
The workshop aims to bring together a small group of international researchers in different fields related to planet formation, evolution and observation to discuss planetary diversity in our galaxy, as well as potential methodological pitfalls and observational constraints.
The theory of planetary formation and evolution has been built mostly from observations of our Solar System and the extensive data coverage of the Earth and its close neighbors. This is by construction very biased and it is time to reinvestigate some of the accepted knowledge in light of the new exoplanetary dataset. The apparent diversity of planetary system dynamic states has already revolutionized how we think planetary formation proceeded in our Solar System. A natural next step is to understand how this dataset can now revolutionize our understanding of how planets evolve.
There is already a wealth of new data available regarding the mass and radius distribution of exoplanets, which can be refined by the composition of the parent star. In addition, the next decade will see an increase in planetary spectra data from both James Webb Space Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope. The range of possible conditions and resulting dynamic states on terrestrial planets is important to understand for origins of life in the Universe, but also to test our current understanding of planetary evolution. However, how to meaningfully include these datasets in models of planetary
diversity is still largely debated.
The goal of this workshop is to build the tools and professional relationships to help us extract as much meaning from the dataset, while remaining in the realm of predictive science.
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