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Distributions of Planetary Systems Dynamics

Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Barnes (Lunar and Planetary Lab, University of Arizona)

To date 20 planetary systems have been discovered with multiple planetary mass companions. These new systems show a wide range of orbits, many unexpected. I will describe emerging distributions among these systems and our Solar System. In particular I will discuss the frequency of mean motion resonances, modes of apsidal oscillation, and the dynamical "packing" of these systems. Although the dynamical interactions among planets may be subtle and/or complicated, their distributions are already beginning to point to important features of planet formation, and the likelihood of life on other planets.

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