This paper is an introduction to volume 56 of the Space Science Series of ISSI, “From disks to planets—the making of planets and their proto-atmospheres”, a key subject in our quest for the origins and evolutionary paths of planets, and for the causes of their diversity. Indeed, as exoplanet discoveries progressively accumulated and their characterization made spectacular progress, it became evident that the diversity of observed exoplanets can in no way be reduced to the two classes of planets that we are used to identify in the solar system, namely terrestrial planets and gas or ice giants: the exoplanet reality is just much broader. This fact is no doubt the result of the exceptional diversity of the evolutionary paths linking planetary systems as a whole as well as individual exoplanets and their proto-atmospheres to their parent circumstellar disks: this diversity and its causes are exactly what this paper explores. For each of the main phases of the formation and evolution of planetary systems and of individual planets, we summarize what we believe we understand and what are the important open questions needing further in-depth examination, and offer some suggestions on ways towards solutions.
Space Science Reviews – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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