Orbital evolution of planetary systems: from formation to today
IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2016
2016 / 2017
Universidade do Porto
The field of extrasolar planets research is teeming with activity. Last year we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the discovery of the first planet outside our system, and yet we count already over 2000 confirmed planets and hundreds of candidates to confirm. With a fast-growing discovery pace and a bright future ahead guaranteed by large number of ongoing and planned projects, it presents itself as the emerging astronomy topic of the new century. As the planetary zoology continue, recent studies have shown that stellar properties (like, mass, evolutionary stage, and metallicity) also play a very important role not only on the formation of planets, but also on the orbital evolution. Several remarkable observational results can be outlined from these studies, that are still waiting for a solid explanation: planets in the metal-poor systems form/evolve differently appear to form farther out from their central star and/or they form later and do not migrate far; low-metallicity stars have a deficit of eccentric planets between 0.1 and 1 AU when compared to their metal-rich counterparts, because of either a less effective planet-planet interactions or due to the self-shadowing of the disk by a rim located at the dust sublimation radius (approx. 0.1 AU). Planet-planet and planet-disk gravitational interactions during the formation process emerge as important orbit-shaping to be explored for a better understanding of the evolution of planetary systems. With this application we propose to study the impact of stellar metallicity on the orbital evolution of planetary systems from the observational point of view and to develop new simulations in which we consider the effect of disk and/or a companion planet's presence on the planetary parameters. A linkage between theory and observations as presented here is uncommon, but crucial to understand our picture of extrasolar system. The different expertise of the supervisors will allow for a more encompassing work than before.