What do Multiple Planet Systems Teach us about Planet Formation ?

Abstract

For centuries, our knowledge of planetary systems and ideas about planet formation were based on a single example, our solar system. During the last thirteen years, the discovery of ≃ 170 planetary systems has ushered in a new era for astronomy. I review the surprising properties of extrasolar planetary systems and discuss how they are reshaping theories of planet formation. I focus on how multiple planet systems constrain the mechanisms proposed to explain the large eccentricities typical of extrasolar planets. I suggest that strong planet-planet scattering is common and most planetary systems underwent a phase of large eccentricities. I propose that a planetary system’s final eccentricities may be strongly influenced by how much mass remains in a planetesimal disk after the last strong planet-planet scattering event.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Bash2005WhatDM, title={What do Multiple Planet Systems Teach us about Planet Formation ?}, author={Frank N. Bash and Eric B. Ford}, year={2005} }