Enric Palle Homepage

Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
Via Lactea s/n
E38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.
Telephone: +34 922 605268
Fax: +34 922 605200
email:  epalle [at] iac.es

Brief CV:

  • 2007- present: Ramon y Cajal fellow at Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias.
  • 2004-2007:  Assistant Research Professor of Physics at New Jersey Institute of Technology.
  • 2001-2004: Post-doctoral Research Associate at Big Bear Solar Observatory (New Jersey Institute of Technology).
  • 1998-2001: Ph.D. student at Armagh Observatory and the Queen's University of Belfast. Armagh, UK.
    Thesis title: ``Solar Activity, Cloud Cover and Climate Change". Director: Dr. C.J. Butler.
  • 1998: Astrophysics degree at La Laguna University, Tenerife, Spain.
  • Research Interests:

            Publication list and Reprints (click here)

    Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology: Since the discovery in 1992 of the first planet outside the solar system (or exoplanet), the number of planet detections is increasing exponentially. Although we are not capable of detecting and exploring planets like our own yet, ambitious missions are already being planned for the next decades, and the discovery of Earth-like planets is only a matter of time. The future observed population of planets in the galaxy will exhibit a wide range of planet types and evolutionary stages. Observations of  "The Earth as a Planet" will provide the key to understand future observational data of exo-atmospheres. The example of the Earth and the rest of the rocky planets of the solar system will be our guidance to classify and understand the multiplicity of planetary systems that might exist in our galaxy. However, the Earth-Exoplanets connection will work in both directions. When a substantial database of exoplanets becomes available, statistics of planetary formation and evolution will become possible. This will provide valuable information in solving some of the questions about the formation and evolution of our own planet and the solar system, for which we still have no answers. Undoubtedly, one of the main concerns will be the search for life. By means of earthshine observations and computer models I have studied the characteristics features of the globally-integrated light reflected from the Earth.


      Earthshine and the Earth’s Albedo: Photometric observations of the dark and bright side of the Moon have been routinely taken at BBSO since 1998. In recent years we have extended our observations to a web of robotic telescopes. The goal is the determination and monitoring of the earth’s global albedo. We study the nightly, seasonal and long-term variations in the earth’s reflectance properties and its impact on the earth’s radiation budget. We also make use and develop albedo models to compare with our observations. We are currently developing a network of stations to monitor the earthshine with global coverage. At present three earthshine telescopes are in operation:



    Solar-Terrestrial Physics: My research interests cover the role of the Sun in climate and climate change, and the indirect mechanisms of amplification of the solar signal into the climate system. In particular, I have studied the possible influence of galactic cosmic rays on cloud formation processes, and its possible implications for the Earth's radiation budget and long-term climate change.



    Clouds and the Earth's Radiation budget: Clouds are the most uncertainly parameterized climate variable and have a large impact on the earth’s radiation budget. The earth’s albedo is largely dominated by cloud amount and properties. I have established correlations between low cloud factor and solar activity parameters and between the earthshine observations and satellite-derived cloud properties, which were subsequently used to predict past cloud behavior. From ERBE cloud radiative properties we then estimated the radiative effect of the predicted long-term changes in albedo and the different cloud types.


     Climate time series analysis: I am also interested in the analysis and inter-relationships between global (or local) climate variables (e.g., clouds, visible and infrared radiation, temperature, sunshine records), geomagnetic variables, palaeo-climatic records and solar activity indicators.



             Publication list and Reprints (click here)

    Disclaimer: This is the personal page of Enric Palle, who has the compromise to respect the rules of behaviour for computers at IAC and the norms on ethics and correct use of the RedIris. The views expressed in these pages are those of the author only, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. The author is solely responsible for the content of these pages. Other IAC personal web pages can be found here.

    Last Revised: 01/dec/2007