Project

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Linking interior-atmosphere regimes to planetary accretion

Applicant Lichtenberg Tim
Number 178621
Funding scheme Early Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics University of Oxford
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences
Start/End 01.08.2018 - 30.09.2019
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences
Geochemistry
Geophysics

Keywords (9)

exoplanet characterisation; atmospheres; planet formation; exoplanets; numerical modelling; planet evolution; geodynamics; habitability; biosignatures

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
1) Seit der Entdeckung von Exoplaneten in anderen Sonnensystemen nähert sich deren Erforschung immer weiter der Entdeckung von erdähnlichen Planeten, die möglicherweise biologisches Leben ermöglichen. Die chemischen und tektonischen Eigenschaften von terrestrischen, d.h. gesteinsartigen, extrasolaren Planeten sind eng mit der Entstehungsweise und Evolution der Planeten auf einer Zeitskala von Millionen und Milliarden Jahren verknüpft. Daher hängt unser Verständnis der Atmosphären- und Oberflächenbedingungen auf gesteinsartigen Exoplaneten stark von unserem theoretischen Verständnis der Entstehung und Entwicklung dieser ab.
Lay summary

2) Das Ziel dieses Forschungsprojektes ist es eine theoretische Klassifizierung von Planeten als Resultat ihrer Entstehungsart zu ermöglichen. Die chemische Zusammensetzung von terrestrischen Planeten wird grösstenteils während ihrer Entstehung bestimmt und beeinflusst massgeblich die weitere Entwicklung, wie zum Beispiel aktive Plattentektonik, oder Oberflächenbedingungen, die biochemische Reaktionen durch eine Verknüpfung von Mantel und Atmosphäre des Planeten ermöglichen. Daher widmen wir uns im Besonderen der Frage, welche physikalischen Bedingungen während der Planetenakkretion hauptsächlich die weitere Entwicklung des Planeten bestimmen. Ausserdem erstellen wir theoretische Vorhersagen um zu bestimmen ob und wie die Akkretionsart die Atmosphärenzusammensetzung beeinflusst.

3)  Unsere Arbeit wird dazu beitragen die immer genaueren Vermessungen von terrestrischen Exoplaneten mit neuen Weltraumteleskopen mit theoretischem Verständnis zu untermauern. Damit wird es in naher Zukunft möglich sein abzuschätzen ob die Erde eine kosmischer Glücksfall ist, oder viele weitere erdähnliche und eventuell lebensfreundliche Planeten in der Galaxie existieren.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 04.06.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
A water budget dichotomy of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating
Lichtenberg Tim, Golabek Gregor J., Burn Remo, Meyer Michael R., Alibert Yann, Gerya Taras V., Mordasini Christoph (2019), A water budget dichotomy of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating, in Nature Astronomy, 307.
Direct imaging of molten protoplanets in nearby young stellar associations
Bonati I., Lichtenberg T., Bower D. J., Timpe M. L., Quanz S. P. (2019), Direct imaging of molten protoplanets in nearby young stellar associations, in Astronomy {&} Astrophysics, A125.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Exoplanet Physics, Department of Physics, Imperial College London Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Center for Space and Habitability, University of Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Geodynamics Group, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Planetary Climate Dynamics, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, University of Oxford Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Planetary Geochemistry, Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
European Planetary Science Congress 2019 Poster Pre-impact thermochemical state of planetesimal interiors 20.09.2019 Geneva, Switzerland Lichtenberg Tim;
European Planetary Science Congress 2019 Talk given at a conference Rapid seeding, core segregation, and volatile loss of planetesimal belts isolated in space and time 18.09.2019 Geneva, Switzerland Lichtenberg Tim;
European Planetary Science Congress 2019 Talk given at a conference Desiccated rocky planet populations from 26Al heating 17.09.2019 Geneva, Switzerland Lichtenberg Tim;
Extreme Solar Systems IV Poster A water budget dichotomy of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating 19.08.2019 Reykjavík, Iceland Lichtenberg Tim;
Annual Meeting of the German Astronomical Society Talk given at a conference Thermal Evolution of Forming Planets: Isotope Enrichment, Differentiation & Volatile Retentio 19.08.2019 Stuttgart, Germany Lichtenberg Tim;
Exoclimes V Poster A water budget dichotomy of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating 12.08.2019 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Lichtenberg Tim;
Gordon Research Conference on Origins of Solar Systems Poster A water budget dichotomy of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating 23.06.2019 South Hadley, United States of America Lichtenberg Tim;
From Stars to Planets II Talk given at a conference A water budget dichotomy of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating 17.06.2019 Gothenburg, Sweden Lichtenberg Tim;
UK Exoplanet Community Meeting 2019 Talk given at a conference A water budget dichotomy of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating 15.04.2019 London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Lichtenberg Tim;
Planet Formation and Evolution 2019 Talk given at a conference A water budget dichotomy of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating 27.02.2019 Rostock, Germany Lichtenberg Tim;
2nd Oxford Meeting on Planets Talk given at a conference Geophysical evolution of forming rocky planets 05.12.2018 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Lichtenberg Tim;
European Astrobiology Network Association Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference Gradual desiccation of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating 24.09.2018 Berlin, Germany Lichtenberg Tim;
European Planetary Science Congress 2018 Poster Direct imaging of magma oceans in nearby young stellar associations 19.09.2018 Berlin, Germany Lichtenberg Tim;
European Planetary Science Congress 2018 Talk given at a conference Gradual desiccation of rocky protoplanets from 26Al-heating 19.09.2018 Berlin, Germany Lichtenberg Tim;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Exoclimes V 12.08.2019 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Better to dry a rocky planet before use Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland International 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Planetesimal magmatism as a key to the chemical assembly of terrestrial planets International 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Spotting Protoplanet Collision Afterglows International German-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Two emergent faces of rocky planetary systems Nature Research Astronomy Community International 2019

Awards

Title Year
Doctoral Thesis Award 2019, German Astronomical Society http://astronomische-gesellschaft.de/en/activities/press-releases/doctoral-thesis-award-2019 2019
Non-stipendiary Junior Research Fellowship, St. Cross College, University of Oxford 2019
Phd Prize for Planetary Systems and Astrobology, International Astronomical Union https://www.iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann19039/ 2019
Horneck-Brack Presentation Award, 2nd prize, European Astriobiology Network Association Annual Meeting http://www.eana-net.eu/index.php?page=Conferences/EANA_student 2018

Abstract

Near-future observational capabilities will enable us to address questions such as: What does exoplanetary atmospheric chemistry reveal about interior & surface dynamics and potential biology of these distant worlds? I hypothesise that planet formation and evolution create distinct classes of planetary behaviour, and that these classes have distinct relationships between observables and internal dynamics. To test this and develop falsifiable predictions, I propose an interdisciplinary assessment of planet formation and evolution scenarios, merging methods and expertise from astronomy, geophysics, geochemistry, petrology and atmospheric sciences to link astrophysical accretion scenarios to the observational characterisation of extrasolar planets. I will conduct a theoretical study of the accretion process of terrestrial planets from a planet-centric point-of-view to couple the feedback cycles of a planet’s interior and atmosphere, starting with its birth in the protoplanetary disk to its long-term evolution on billion-year timescales. With these models, I will tackle the most crucial physical processes during the growth of terrestrial planetary bodies and synthesise the outcome in a unified theoretical description of planetary evolution. This approach will fundamentally advance our understanding of the exoplanetary population and can be used in the near-future to probe planetary interior dynamics and surface conditions of extrasolar terrestrial worlds.
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