June 14, 2013: Giant Planet Formation and Internal Structure

The two main models for giant planet formation are known as core accretion, the standard model, and disk instability. There are substantial differences between these formation models, including formation timescale, favorable formation location, ideal disk properties for planetary formation, early evolution, planetary composition, etc. First, I will summarize current knowledge of the internal structures of solar- and extrasolar- giant planets, and the two formation models including their substantial differences, advantages, and disadvantages. I will then present the predicted planetary composition in each model, and discuss how theoretical models should be connected to available (and future) data.

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