Knowledge on radiative processes and stellar structure. Basic programming skills.
We are in a unique time to study planets. Not only do we have space missions such as Cassini and Juno, which have led to a radical change in our knowledge of the giants in our solar system, but we also have an astonishing number of more than 4000 exoplanets that have been discovered in the last three decades. Each new exoplanet highlights a stunning diversity and impacts the perception and understanding of our own solar system. This course will provide an overview of our current theoretical understanding of the physical and chemical processes that occur in planets interiors and their atmospheres. This understanding is crucial to interpret observations, and to know where the ﬁeld is moving for the developing of future instrumentation.
The detailed outline is:
Radiative transfer in (exo)planet atmospheres
Chemistry in (exo)planet atmospheres
Principles of ﬂuid dynamics and applications to circulation in atmospheres
Interaction between the planets and the host star: atmospheric escape
Interiors or rocky planets
Interiors of giant planets: inﬂation in hot-Jupiters
Interactions between interiors and atmospheres: surface, ocean and volcanoes
The concept of habitability
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
Distinguish the main physical and chemical processes that shape the atmospheres and interiors of (exo)planets.
Discuss and follow current literature in exoplanets
Use state-of-the-art codes to model exoplanets interiors and atmospheres
Name the main uncertainties in the current knowledge of Exoplanet interiors and atmospheres
Identify synergies between our Solar system and Exoplanets
See Astronomy master schedules
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Mode of instruction
Weekly lectures, and bi-weekly tutorial sessions. During the lectures there will be an introduction to the topic and basic physics followed by a discussion of relevant papers on the topic presented by the students and debates on this. During the tutorial sessions, students will use open source codes used in exoplanet research to solve diﬀerent problems.
Presentation of papers and debates during the lectures (20%), tutorial essay (30%) and ﬁnal project (50%)
Principles of Planetary Climate - Ray Pierrehumbert Exoplanet Atmospheres - Sara Seager
Papers selected during the classes
From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.
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Lecturer: Dr. Y. Miguel
Assistants: Ypeng Zhang, Christiaan van Buchem
Oral and writing communication (presenting, speaking, listening, writing)
Critical thinking (asking questions, check assumptions)
Creative thinking (resourcefulness, curiosity, thinking out of the box)