DIX Planetary Science Seminar
We explore a series of innovative techniques for extracting data from uncommunicative worlds: inner Solar System planets, the population of compact multi-planet systems, and enigmatic interstellar objects, whose present states and limited diagnostics obscure their formation and evolutionary histories. First, we address impact cratering processes in the Solar System, and how the lunar regolith may preserve a record of Venus' ancient climate. If Venus' atmosphere was at any point thin and similar to Earth's, then asteroid impacts transferred detectable amounts of lightly-shocked, Venusian surface material to the Moon's surface. Similarly, we discuss how impact cratering may reveal the compositions and dynamical histories of interstellar objects. Specifically, we gauge the feasibility of identifying lunar craters formed by anomalously fast impacts, potentially identifiable by melt volume and high-pressure petrology. Finally, we introduce a new technique inspired by cyclostratigraphy methods, stacking periodograms of radial velocity timeseries residuals across many targets. With analytical approximations, simulations, and analysis of an extensive archival dataset, we show that close-in exoplanet populations may be statistically identifiable in the stacked periodogram even when individual planets do not pass the threshold of detection.