28 March 2017: Giovanna Tinetti - Galactic Planetary Science
Planetary science beyond the boundaries of our Solar System is today in its infancy. Until a couple of decades ago, the detailed investigation of the planetary properties was restricted to objects orbiting inside the Kuiper Belt. Today, we cannot ignore that the number of known planets has increased by two orders of magnitude nor that these planets resemble anything but the objects present in our own Solar System. The next decade will be critical to advance in what we should perhaps call “Galactic planetary science”, i.e. understanding the diversity of the planetary systems in our galaxy and whether this is the outcome of formation and evolution processes.
In my talk, I will review highlights and pitfalls of our current knowledge of this topic and elaborate on how this knowledge might arguably evolve in the next decade. More critically, I will try to identify what should be the mandatory scientific and technical steps to be taken in this fascinating journey of remote exploration of planets in our Galaxy.