Aaron Boley

Assistant Professor
PhD, Indiana University, United States
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Boley earned his PhD from Indiana University. Before joining UBC as a Canada Research Chair in Planetary Astronomy, he was a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Zurich and a NASA Carl Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Florida.

Dr. Boley investigates the birth of planets, and seeks to put the Solar System in context with the many worlds now known to exist. His research program addresses processes such as the rise of planet-forming discs, the formation of solids found in meteorites, and the long-term evolution of planetary systems and their debris (asteroids and comets). To do this, Dr. Boley utilizes supercomputer simulations, as well as observations from some of the world’s most powerful astronomy facilities.

Observational surveys have revealed that planetary systems are about as ubiquitous as the stars themselves. Throughout the Galaxy, there are other Jupiters, other Neptunes, and other planets with Earth-like sizes. For centuries we have relied on only the Solar System for understanding our origins. Now, new data from meteorites, comets, and newly discovered planetary systems simultaneously challenge classical pictures of planet formation and provide the information needed to explore new ideas. 

Primary Recipient Awards

Wall Scholars, Aaron Boley, 2016

Aaron Boley
Wall Scholars

While at the Institute, Dr. Boley will bring together leading researchers throughout the world to address whether chondrules are byproducts or building blocks of the Solar System. Chondrules are small, previously-molten spherules found in abundance in most stony meteorites. These pebbles preserve a record of the formation events that gave birth to the Solar System’s planets, and understanding chondrule formation is paramount to revealing their secrets about our origins.

Dr. Boley will also seek to use his position as a Wall Scholar to engage a broad audience in a conversation about the formation of our home, the Solar System.

News

Related Event

Nov 162016
Wall Wednesday Afternoon Series
Planet formation is a process in which stardust, much smaller than the width of human hair, coalesces to form objects exceeding scales of thousands of kilometres. While we have a...