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Tracing the Origins and Evolution of Small Planets using Their Orbital Obliquities

Johnson, Marshall C. and Zhou, George and Addison, Brett C. and Ciardi, David R. and Dragomir, Diana and Hasegawa, Yasuhiro and Lee, Eve J. and Wang, Songhu and Weiss, Lauren (2019) Tracing the Origins and Evolution of Small Planets using Their Orbital Obliquities. Astro2020 Science White Paper, . (Unpublished)

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We recommend an intensive effort to survey and understand the obliquity distribution of small close-in extrasolar planets over the coming decade. The orbital obliquities of exoplanets--i.e., the relative orientation between the planetary orbit and the stellar rotation--is a key tracer of how planets form and migrate. While the orbital obliquities of smaller planets are poorly explored today, a new generation of facilities coming online over the next decade will make such observations possible en masse. Transit spectroscopic observations with the extremely large telescopes will enable us to measure the orbital obliquities of planets as small as ∼2R⊕ around a wide variety of stars, opening a window into the orbital properties of the most common types of planets. This effort will directly contribute to understanding the formation and evolution of planetary systems, a key objective of the National Academy of Sciences' Exoplanet Science Strategies report.

Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Johnson, Marshall C.0000-0002-5099-8185
Zhou, George0000-0002-4891-3517
Ciardi, David R.0000-0002-5741-3047
Dragomir, Diana0000-0003-2313-467X
Hasegawa, Yasuhiro0000-0002-9017-3663
Lee, Eve J.0000-0002-1228-9820
Wang, Songhu0000-0002-7846-6981
Weiss, Lauren0000-0002-3725-3058
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Series Name:Astro2020 Science White Paper
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190619-102323422
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96555
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Jun 2019 17:26
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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