Chair of Theoretical Astrophysics of Extrasolar Planets

The Exoplanet Chair works broadly on the theory, observation, simulation and phenomenology of exoplanets with a strong focus on understanding their atmospheres. Within the Chair, we have expertise in exoplanetary atmospheres (chemistry, dynamics, radiative transfer, Bayesian inference methods), astrochemistry, disk chemistry and observations (using both ground- and space-based telescopes). The Chair is part of the mission consortium of the ARIEL space telescope of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Research Groups

General theory and phenomenology of exoplanetary atmospheres

Theory-Group-Webpage

Planet formation theory, astrochemistry of protoplanetary disks and planetary atmospheres

Astrochemistry Group Webpage

Exoplanets, geodynamics, geochemistry, petrology

Geoscience Group Webpage

High performance computing (HPC), general circulation models (GCMs), theory of atmospheres, radiative transfer, photochemistry

General Circulation Models Group

Exoplanet observations & modelling, precise radial velocities, planet interiors, stellar activity, young planets

Observations Group Webpage

Team meetings, seminars & Master projects

  • Team Meetings: Wednesdays from 09:00 to 10:30
  • Geosciences of Exoplanets for Astrophysicists Seminar: Tuesdays from 09:30 to 11:00
  • Bayesian Inference and A.I. Seminar: Thursday from 09:15 to 11:00
  • Master Projects Offered in Chair

Recent Activities of the Chair

Recent, interesting publications at the chair:

  • Ph.D student Anna Lueber recently led an atmospheric retrieval study of the hot Jupiter WASP-39b, which is a target of the Early Release Science (ERS) program of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The paper has been published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal. By running a large suite of retrievals on 4 spectra measured by 4 different instruments of the JWST, the study showed that the detections of sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide are model-dependent based on interpreting these spectra alone.

Members

Dr. David Cont

Staff Scientist & Fraunhofer-Schwarzschild-Fellow

Dr. Alex Cridland

Staff Scientist

Thomas Drant

PhD Student

Dr. Leonardos Gkouvelis

Staff Scientist

High performance computing, general circulation models, theory of atmospheres, radiative transfer, photochemistry

Prof. Dr. Kevin Heng

Professor

Theoretical Astrophysics of Extrasolar Planets

Dr. Louise Nielsen

Staff Scientist & Fraunhofer-Schwarzschild-Fellow

Exoplanet observations & modelling, precise radial velocities, planet interiors, stellar activity, young planets

Surya Shivaprasad

MSc-Representative

Dr. Meng Tian

Staff Scientist

Exoplanets, Geodynamics, Geochemistry, Petrology