Events at Physics
Events on Thursday, February 8th, 2018
- Astronomy Colloquium
- "Stellar Binaries: a Testbed for Planetary Formation and Dynamics"
- Time: 3:30 pm
- Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and cookies 3:30 PM, Talk Begins 3:45 PM
- Speaker: Diego Munoz, Northwestern University
- Abstract: Stellar binaries play an important role in the formation and evolution of planets. Planets and protoplanetary disks *within* binaries are subject to external perturbations that can alter the orbital and hydrodynamical evolution of these systems. Similarly, planets and protoplanetary disks *around* stellar binaries are expected to exhibit a distinct behavior from that of their single-star counterparts. Yet, observations suggest that binaries are able to form planets without much difficulty. In this talk, I will address different cases of planet formation and dynamics under the influence of additional stellar companions, spanning different stages of stellar evolution. I will discuss the hydrodynamics of circumbinary accretion, and argue that close-in T-Tauri stars provide a unique laboratory to explore the links between star and planet formation. I will describe what we have learned about the influence of external stellar companions on long-term planetary dynamics -- focusing on high-eccentricity migration -- and what puzzles still remain behind the origins of hot Jupiters. I will explain some of the mechanisms behind the dearth of transiting planets around the most compact main sequence (Solar mass) binaries, and how such planets could be in hiding. Finally, I will address the role of binaries in the post main sequence, presenting a hypothetical scenario in which binaries could contribute to the puzzling atmospheric pollution observed in nearly 30% of white dwarfs.