Exoplanets Molecular Atmospheric Composition ExoMAC

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Call year
2019
Investigator
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Amount granted to the IAC Consortium
160.932,48 €
Description

The search for and characterization of exoplanets are among the most active and rapidly advancing fields in modern astrophysics. The initial caution after the first bewildering
discoveries has given way to a succession of discoveries with neck-breaking pace. To date, more than 4000 exoplanets have been detected, spanning wide ranges in physical, orbital and stellar parameters, and with a great variety of system architectures.

The observed exoplanet diversity has revolutionized our view of planetary system formation and evolution, for which the Solar System is no longer the paradigm. Understanding the causes of exoplanet diversity and variety is a stated goal of the next-generation of ESA/NASA missions.
In this context, I propose to develop the project “Exoplanets Molecular Atmospheric Composition” (ExoMAC), together with the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) under the supervision of Dr. Enric Pallé. We aim to provide answers to key questions such as: What is the bulk composition of exoplanets? How does it relate with the other observable parameters (e.g., host star abundances, ages, stellar and planetary masses, radii, orbital parameters)? How did exoplanet systems form and evolve?
To answer these questions we will leverage the information obtained with multiple instruments and observing techniques through a bayesian framework. This innovative approach will lead us to measure both absolute chemical abundances and elemental ratios in exoplanet atmospheres with unprecedented precision. By comparing the observed chemistry with theoretical predictions, we will constrain the posible formation and evolution pathways. In parallel, we will develop a convolutional neural network (CNN) to scan TESS data in search of new transiting exoplanets to be followed-up spectroscopically.

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