Institute of Astronomy

Debris from giant impacts, at home and abroad

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Alan Jackson30 July 2014Across HR 2014 Talks


We have direct evidence for at least 6 massive, planetary scale, collisions in the solar system, spanning the entire range of orbital distances from Mercury to the Kuiper belt, and there are likely to have been many more. A generic feature of such collisions is the production of large quantities of debris. The fate of this debris is an important aspect of the early history of our solar system. Meanwhile, in other planetary systems, we might observe the aftermath of similar impacts as debris discs. I will discuss the characteristics of these debris discs, and what debris produced by giant impacts can tell us about planet formation, both in the solar system, and further afield.