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The early formation scenario for super-Earths

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Super-Earths and mini-Neptunes—planets made up mostly of heavy elements, but often inferred to harbour significant amounts of primordial (H/He) gas—dominate the exoplanet census. Since they orbit their host stars at periods of around 10 days (~0.1 au), their formation must have proceeded very differently than the terrestrial planets in the solar system. Indeed, our classical ideas on how planet formation proceeds are ill-equipped to explain the super-Earth population. I will discuss some recent developments of my group that attempt to resolve these inconsistencies, reconciling modern planet formation theory with observational constraints. The topics that I will highlight include: disk-planet atmosphere recycling, star-disk-planet magnetic coupling, and long-term thermal modeling of super-Earths.

This talk is part of the Exoplanet Meetings series.

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