Research in Planet Formation

Introduction

At the present time there have been approximately 115 planets discovered in orbit around nearby sun-like stars. These planets are thought to be gas-giants like Jupiter and Saturn in our own solar system. However, unlike our own solar system, many of these extrasolar giant planets have short period orbits, and/or eccentric orbits. The discovery of planets outside of our own solar system, and the realisation that they come in `all shapes and sizes' has led to an increased interest in the theory of how planetary systems form and evolve. The planet formation group in the Astronomy Unit, Queen Mary, University of London is at the heart of scientific efforts to understand the physical processes involved in planet formation, and the development of models to explain the current data on extrasolar planets.

Current Projects

Projects that I am currently working on include: