New Windows on Giant Planet Structure and Composition

Jan 24, 2019 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Campus, PAB 102/103

Jonathan Fortney (UC Santa Cruz)

In our current era of planetary physics we can use the astronomical perspective to look for trends in giant planet structure that can only be seen with a large sample size.  We can also use detailed observations of Jupiter and Saturn, provided by Juno and Cassini, to test if long-held assumptions about giant planets really hold true.  I will discuss several exoplanet topics including the giant planet mass-metallicity relation, connections with atmospheric abundances, and the radius anomaly of hot Jupiters.  These works rest on a standard modeling framework for giant planet structure and evolution that can be tested in detail for Jupiter and Saturn.  For Saturn specifically, I will show how Cassini inferences of the gravity field and internal oscillations probe the planet's interior structure in new ways.