Characterizing Extrasolar planets: a fascinating puzzle
DFG Emmy Noether Group Characterizing Extrasolar planets
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
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 NASAâ€™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.