National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | CH-3012 Bern | Switzerland
  Tel. +41 (0)31 631 32 39

Planetary Atmospheres

Project Leader: Prof. F. Pepe
One of the most exciting questions, the habitability of exoplanets, cannot be answered without understanding what they are composed of and how their atmospheres look like. The combination of transit and radial velocity observations provides us direct access to the average density of planets and thus their bulk structure. The study of transmitted, reflected and emitted light of a planet gives access to crucial information on the atmospheric structure and composition, like the pressure-temperature profile, atmospheric scale height, heat redistribution pattern, abundance of various chemical species, presence of clouds or hazes. Atmospheric constituents also provide further important constraints on the bulk composition of the planet, which may not be unambiguously determined by the measured radius and mass alone. The understanding of the interaction between the inner structure and the atmosphere will be fundamental to obtain a complete picture.

ExoTSAR

HARPS transmission spectrum of HD189733b around the sodium Na I D lines after subtraction of the stellar spectrum.

 

Sub-Projects

Observation

Dr. Ch. Lovis

The first step in the understanding of exoplanetary atmospheres is their observation. Learn how in this subproject we will use existing and future instrumentation to detect signatures from exoplanetary atmospheres. Data reduction, analysis and mining play a crucial role, as well. This sub-project will make extensive use of the DACE platform in order to best exploit available data and models.

 

Building high-fidelity spectrographs

Dr. F. Wildi

Major steps forward in observational astronomy are often linked to technological progresses. Our group has a long-lasting experience in precision spectro-velocimetry. We aim at extending our experience towards high-fidelity spectroscopy and transfer it on extremely-large telescopes for the observation of faint signals. How? Explore the answer within this sub-project and have a look at the Technology Platform.

Modelling

Dr. D. Ehrenreich

In order to interpret the observed planetary spectra and make quantitative statements they have to be linked to theoretical models. On the other hand, theory may provide predictions about where, what and how to observe. This sub-project links observations with theoretical modelling (see the Formation & Evolution Project) to make us ‘understand’ the real nature of planets.

 

Additional information

Presentation slideshow of the project

News

HARPS opéré à coeur ouvert (6/17/2015) - En 10 ans on a appris améliorer le rendement des fibres optiques en leur donnant notamment une forme octogonale. Fin mai, une équipe de l’observatoire...
20 ans après, le spectre de 51pegb a été obtenu (6/17/2015) - Remarquable réussite d’une équipe internationale d’astronomes dont des membres de PlanetS : ils ont obtenu pour la première fois un spectre de la lumière réfléchie par...
Une planète qui se prend pour une comète (6/25/2015) - Des astronomes de l’Université de Genève (UNIGE) et membres du Pôle national de recherche (PRN) PlanetS ont découvert un immense nuage d’hydrogène qui s’échappe d’une...
NIRPS, le bras rouge de HARPS (12/14/2015) - Associé aux Canadiens de l’Université de Montréal, l’observatoire de Genève va bientôt participer à la construction d’un nouvel instrument pour détecter des planètes grâce à...

Team

PhD Student
+41 22 379 22 64
Research associate
+41 22 379 22 81
Senior Researcher / Subproject Leader 7.3
+41 22 379 24 60
PhD Student
Associate
+41 22 379 24 10
Senior Researcher
+41 22 379 24 63
PhD Student
Associate
+41 22 379 22 62
PhD Student
+41 22 379 24 76
PostDoc
Associate
+41 22 379 24 06
Subproject Leader 3.2
+41 22 379 23 90
Deputy Leader 3/ Subproject Leader 3.1
+41 22 379 24 07
Engineer
Associate
+41 22 379 23 53
PhD Student
Associate
+41 22 379 24 04
PhD Student 
Associate
+41 22 379 22 82
Project Leader 3/ Platform Leader Technology Transfer
+41 22 379 23 96
PhD Student
+41 22 379 22 73
Software Engineer
+41 22 379 23 95
Subproject Leader 3.3 / Sytem Engineer
+41 22 379 23 43

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