AdvisorLauretta, Dante S.
Committee ChairLauretta, Dante S.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis work examines the chemical nature of extrasolar planetary systems, considering both the host star and any potential terrestrial planets located within the system. Extrasolar planetary host stars are found to be enriched over non-host stars in several r- and s-process elements. These enrichments, however, are in keeping with general galactic chemical evolution trends. This implies that host stars have not experienced any unusual chemical processing or pollution and that the observed enrichments are primordial in nature.When combined with detailed chemical models, the dynamical models of O'Brien et al. (2006) are found to produce terrestrial planets with bulk elemental abundances in excellent agreement with observed planetary values. This clearly indicates that the combination of dynamical and chemical modeling applied here is successfully reproducing the terrestrial planets of the Solar System to the first order. Furthermore, these planets are found to form with a considerable amount of water, negating the need for large amounts of exogenous delivery. Little dependence on the orbital properties of Jupiter and Saturn is observed for the main rock-forming elements due to the largely homogenous disk composition calculated.The same modeling approach is applied to known extrasolar planetary systems. Terrestrial planets were found to be ubiquitous, forming in all simulations. Generally, small (< 1ML) terrestrial planets are produced close to their host star with little radial mixing occurring. Planetary compositions are found to be diverse, ranging from Earth-like to refractory dominated and C-dominated, containing significant amounts of carbide material. Based on these simulations, stars with Solar elemental ratios are the best place to focus future Earth-like planet searches as these systems are found to produce the most Earthlike terrestrial planets which are located within the habitable zones of their systems and containing a significant amount of water. C-rich planets, although unusual, are expected to exist in >20% of known extrasolar planetary systems based on their host star photospheric compositions. These planets are unlike any body we have previously observed and provide an exciting avenue for future observation and simulation.
Degree ProgramPlanetary Sciences