Status Report

Solar System Physics for Exoplanet Research

By SpaceRef Editor
April 29, 2020
Filed under , , ,

J. Horner, S. R. Kane, J. P. Marshall, P. A. Dalba, T. R. Holt, J. Wood, H. E. Maynard-Casely, R. Wittenmyer, P. S. Lykawka, M. Hill, R. Salmeron, J. Bailey, T. Löhne, M. Agnew, B. D. Carter, C. C. E. Tylor

Over the past three decades, we have witnessed one of the great revolutions in our understanding of the cosmos – the dawn of the Exoplanet Era. Where once we knew of just one planetary system (the Solar system), we now know of thousands, with new systems being announced on a weekly basis. Of the thousands of planetary systems we have found to date, however, there is only one that we can study up-close and personal – the Solar system.

In this review, we describe our current understanding of the Solar system for the exoplanetary science community – with a focus on the processes thought to have shaped the system we see today. In section one, we introduce the Solar system as a single well studied example of the many planetary systems now observed. In section two, we describe the Solar system’s small body populations as we know them today – from the two hundred and five known planetary satellites to the various populations of small bodies that serve as a reminder of the system’s formation and early evolution. In section three, we consider our current knowledge of the Solar system’s planets, as physical bodies. In section four, we discuss the research that has been carried out into the Solar system’s formation and evolution, with a focus on the information gleaned as a result of detailed studies of the system’s small body populations. In section five, we discuss our current knowledge of planetary systems beyond our own – both in terms of the planets they host, and in terms of the debris that we observe orbiting their host stars.

As we learn ever more about the diversity and ubiquity of other planetary systems, our Solar system will remain the key touchstone that facilitates our understanding and modelling of those newly found systems, and we finish section five with a discussion of the future surveys that will further expand that knowledge.

Comments: Invited Review, Accepted for publication in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific; 23 figures, plus a further 18 in the appendix; 4 tables

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Cite as: arXiv:2004.13209 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2004.13209v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Jonathan Horner

[v1] Mon, 27 Apr 2020 23:58:06 UTC (7,080 KB)

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