Week 5, The insides of giant planets

Additional Readings

Lecture 2.12: Planetesimal formation

  • A good overview of the classic view of planet formation (by which I mean right on the eve of the discoveries of the first exoplanets) is here. This review is an excellent resource for both of the next units. For this lecture, the section on the Formation of Solid Planetesimals is the most relevent.

Lecture 2.13: Core formation

  • The above review remains good for this section. See, in particular, Section 3 From Planetesimals to Planets

Lecture 2.14: Core-collapse vs. disk-instability

  • The classic paper on the core-instability mode is here.
  • The classic paper on disk instability is here

Lecture 2.15: Saturn and the Ice Giants

  • Read that Phys Today paper from last week! And the Guillot paper!

Lecture 2.16: Discovering hot Jupiters

  • A fun exoplanet discovery simulator lets you try out different stellar and planetary parameters and see what radial velocity the star will have as a function of time

Lecture 2.17: Densities of hot Jupiters

  • You can check out all of the densities yourself at
  • Have you read the Guillot review papers yet? Still a good idea

Lecture 2.18: Inflating hot Jupiters

  • There is a short but nice blog post on this subject -- with additional references -- here.

Lecture 2.19: Kepler and the sub-Neptunes

  • Developments from Kepler are coming along so quickly that even this lecture is likely to be out of date by the time you watch it. There is much good info of the wen though. Try the Kepler mission page and the other Kepler mission page and your local newspaper!

Lecture 2.20: Exoplanet spectroscopy

  • Professor Knutson has a slew of fascinating papers on exoplanet spectroscopy, including the most recent that she discussed.
  • This current review is also a good source of information

Lecture 2.21: Juno and future exploration

  • Juno outreach remains a bit sleepy, as does Juno, on its way to Jupiter. But keep checking here as time goes by and you'll start to see results from this amazing mission.