Study of the detectability of potential biosignatures in extrasolar planets
The activities of the Department of Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres (EPA) at the Institute for Planetary Research (PF) in Berlin involve analysis of photometric time series data in order to detect and characterize exoplanets, as well as the development of numerical models which simulate exoplanetary lightcurves, planetary composition and atmospheric properties.
The modeling section of PF-EPA have developed a radiative-convective climate model with coupled photochemistry in order to investigate the atmospheric temperature structure and chemical composition of rocky exoplanets and gassy Sub-Neptunes. A particular focus lies on the atmospheric modeling of small exoplanets which orbit cool stars in the habitable zone.
A central task of the current project is to upwardly extend the upper boundary of the climate-photochemical model (1D-TERRA) by including thereby the relevant climate processes operating in the thermosphere and exosphere. This work is part of a larger project in which high energy particles and ion chemistry are modelled by project partners at the University of Kiel and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
The post-doctoral position is part of the German Research Agency (DFG) special research program (SPP) entitled “Exploring the Diversity of Extrasolar Planets” (SPP 1992).