Speaker: Melinda Soares-Furtado, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Abstract: The growing population of exoplanets and the expanding repertoire of instruments and analysis techniques make it possible to examine moons, planets, and suns within the context of their environments and evolutionary history. In this talk, I discuss how my team leverages stellar evolutionary models, observational survey data, and statistical methods to probe the interactions and evolution of moons, planets, and suns. More specifically, I present the effects of planetary collision, accretion, and engulfment on stellar hosts, identifying the ingestion-derived signatures that make it possible to detect such events. In the second part of my talk, I focus on my team’s investigations of young stars in co-moving groups and clusters. Since stellar systems are more dynamically active at early times, these environments offer important test beds to explore star-planet interactions. I present the results of my team’s efforts to characterize star-planet systems at early stages of evolution (< 500 Myr) and the value these data offer to the broader scientific community. Looking forward, infrared space-based missions will soon make it possible to detect transiting exomoons orbiting young (<5 Myr), free-floating planets. Such observations will help to constrain the formation pathways and dynamical histories of these extraordinary systems. In the last part of my talk, I discuss my team’s efforts to identify and characterize exosatellite populations and the broader implications of our anticipated results.