Characterizing Extrasolar planets: a fascinating puzzle
DFG Emmy Noether Group
Characterizing Extrasolar planets
Group Profile:
The first Super-Earths have recently been discovered. This number will raise significantly when Kepler planetary candidates will be confirmed. The "Emmy Noether Group" models remotely detectable atmospheric fingerprint of extrasolar planets to
a) identify spectral features that can characterize the planet as well as
b) the environments that can support habitability and life, setting the team's work in context with current space-based (Kepler) as well as planned ground and space-based telescopes (e.g. JWST, E-ELT, TPF/Darwin).

This group will focus on the cross-disciplinary connection between planetary science, biology and astronomy and explore its remotely detectable features in a planets atmosphere. The observational features of the planet are used to derive observable quantities to examine if our concept of habitability is correct and how we can find the first habitable new worlds in the sky.

Short bio of Lisa Kaltenegger:
Lisa Kaltenegger is a DFG Emmy Noether Group Leader at the MPIA, Heidelberg for extrasolar planet characterisation, lecturer at Harvard Astrophysics Department and Research Associate at SAO. Her work focuses on characterizing extrasolar rocky planets, modeling the atmospheric spectral fingerprints of terrestrial planets and specially indicators for life on them, depending on geological cycles, biological environments and age of evolution. She is a Co-I on the MIT NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) node and part of the EC of NASA’s Extrasolar Planet Analysis Group.

Lisa holds a PhD in astrophysics from Karl Franzens University Graz from 2003, a M.Sci in astronomy from 1999 and a M.Eng from University of Technology Graz from 2001, where she specialized in biophysics/biomedicine.

Recent awards include the Tinsley Visiting Scholarship at Univ. Texas Austin 2009, Paul Hertelendy Prize 2007 for outstanding young scientist at the CfA, America's Young Innovator 2007 (Smithsonian Magazine), Highest academic honors of Austria for academic achievements (awarded personally by the Austrian president, 2005).

Page last modified on 23.03.2011.
Please send questions and comments about this page to Lisa Kaltenegger.