The Fundamental Connections Between the Solar System and Exoplanetary Science

1Stephen R. Kane,2Giada N. Arney,3Paul K. Byrne,1,4Paul A. Dalba,5Steven J. Desch,6Jonti Horner,7Noam R. Izenberg,7Kathleen E. Mandt,8Victoria S. Meadows,9Lynnae C. Quick
Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JE006643]
1Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA, 92521 USA
2Planetary Systems Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 20771 USA
3Planetary Research Group, Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695 USA
4NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow
5School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287 USA
6Centre for Astrophysics, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD, 4350 Australia
7Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD, 20723 USA
8Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195 USA
9Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 20771 USA
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

Over the past several decades, thousands of planets have been discovered outside of our Solar System. These planets exhibit enormous diversity, and their large numbers provide a statistical opportunity to place our Solar System within the broader context of planetary structure, atmospheres, architectures, formation, and evolution. Meanwhile, the field of exoplanetary science is rapidly forging onward towards a goal of atmospheric characterization, inferring surface conditions and interiors, and assessing the potential for habitability. However, the interpretation of exoplanet data requires the development and validation of exoplanet models that depend on in‐situ data that, in the foreseeable future, are only obtainable from our Solar System. Thus, planetary and exoplanetary science would both greatly benefit from a symbiotic relationship with a two‐way flow of information. Here, we describe the critical lessons and outstanding questions from planetary science, the study of which are essential for addressing fundamental aspects for a variety of exoplanetary topics. We outline these lessons and questions for the major categories of Solar System bodies, including the terrestrial planets, the giant planets, moons, and minor bodies. We provide a discussion of how many of these planetary science issues may be translated into exoplanet observables that will yield critical insight into current and future exoplanet discoveries.

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