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Priority Programme Exploring the Diversity of Extrasolar Planets (SPP 1992);
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
One of the most exciting recent discoveries in astronomy is the existence of a huge variety of extrasolar planets orbiting other stars, including numerous multi-planet systems. Exoplanets can be very different to those found in our Solar System, and range from the so-called Hot Jupiter and mini-Neptune gas planets to large rocky planets (super-Earths). The Priority Programme aims to explore such diversity and understand its origins. The programme wants to make substantial contributions to answering the following fundamental questions:
- What does the diversity of exoplanets tell us about their formation processes and the evolution of planets and planetary systems?
- What can we learn about the astrophysical conditions necessary to harbour life and are these conditions common in our Milky Way?
To understand the diversity and complexity of exoplanets requires combined efforts across disciplines, linking observational planet detection and characterisation to theory. Science areas addressed in the Priority Programme therefore include:
- the detection of exoplanets and observational characterisation of their properties (e.g. orbit, mass, radius, atmosphere); and
- the understanding of exoplanet properties and diversity in terms of atmospheres, planetary interiors, habitability, formation and evolution processes.
The major observational data basis for the Priority Programme will result from national and international ground- and space-based projects with strong German participations, data becoming publicly available during the programme, and from major observatories. The Priority Programme will focus the German exoplanet science community to explore the new data by driving scientific data exploitation, triggering dedicated follow-up observations for further characterisation, and by developing the related theory needed to answer the above mentioned scientific questions.
The Priority Programme wants to support projects which have a direct relationship to observational exoplanetary data which will become available within the time frame of the programme, their analysis and/or their scientific interpretation. This excludes e.g. theoretical work and observations of disks before a planet has formed and general interior and atmosphere modelling without the clear goal of interpreting data on observed exoplanets. Studies of Solar System bodies are also not part of the programme. Additionally, work related to instrumental set-up in observational projects is not foreseen. A goal of the programme is to support cooperations across disciplines and teams.
For scientific inquiries concerning the scope of the Priority Programme, please contact the programme s coordinator:
Prof. Dr. Heike Rauer
Technische Universität Berlin
Zentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysik
Hardenberg-straße 36, 10623 Berlin
phone +49 30 67055-430, Link auf E-Mailheike.rauer@dlr.de
For funding enquiries please contact:
Dr. Stefan Krückeberg, DFG, phone +49 228 885-2477 , Link auf E-Mailstefan.krueckeberg@dfg.d
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