Predoctoral contract - Planetary systems and the Habitability Zone

Application deadline:

Subject: Planetary systems and the Habitability Zone Type: Predoctoral Supervisors: David Barrado and Jorge Lillo-Box Pre-doctoral research project: Exoplanetary exploration has produced in the last two decades a plethora of planetary systems with very diverse and unexpected properties. From gas giants in orbits very close to their stars to super-Earths or planets on the verge of being engulfed by their parent stars. This whole exoplanetary zoo is helping us to understand the processes of planetary formation and migration. The development of both terrestrial and spatial instrumentation has allowed us to reach accuracies that open the door to the detection of planets like our Earth. The European mission PLATO, scheduled to be launched in 2026, with its excellent photometric accuracy and long time series will complete the census of potentially habitable planets. In this context, the Astrobiology Center will lead one of the most ambitious projects in the search for planets in the habitable zone: the KOBE experiment (K-dwarfs Orbited By Habitable Exoplanets). This project is a legacy program of Calar Alto Observatory with 175 nights granted with the CARMENES instrument at the 3.5 m telescope. KOBE will monitor about 50 late K-type stars with a strategy designed for the detection of planets in their habitable zone, a range of parameters yet to be explored in this type of stars, which are, on the other hand, the most favorable environments for the search of life. This PhD is part of this observational experiment, and will involve tasks of spectral analysis, extraction and high precision radial velocity analysis as well as the study of photometric time series, with the ultimate goal of detecting these unique planetary systems in our path towards the detection and study of biomarkers outside the Solar System. The results of KOBE will be essential for monitoring with missions such as James Webb, scheduled for launch in late 2021, or for understanding the frequency of habitable planets in K-type stars for the PLATO mission. The work will be carried out at the Center for Astrobiology (www.cab.inta-csic.es) at the European Space Astronomy Center, about 25 km from Madrid. About the Spanish participation in PLATO The scientific part of the project contains the coordination of several work packages (WP) of the PLATO mission consortium: preparation for Earth observation monitoring; preparation for detection of circumbinary planets; corrections in L1 data processing; and participation in several other WPs. In addition, the project encompasses a series of objectives to build upon the best data from other missions already available, with the common goal of optimal preparation for scientific use of the PLATO mission in core mission themes. These objectives are: analysis and characterization of planet candidates from the Kepler/K2 and TESS missions; advances in the detection and understanding of circumbinary planets; studies of asterosismology to improve the determination of masses, radii and stellar ages; observation; and the improvement of low-mass star and binary age determinations. Applications According to the call ""Applicants may be all those who are enrolled or admitted to a doctoral program for the academic year 2020/2021, at the time of submission of the application. All those candidates who, at the time of presentation of the application, are not enrolled or admitted to a doctoral program, may also be applicants if they are enrolled or admitted to a doctoral program on the date on which the contract will be formalized in accordance with article 18.” More details about the call and requirements, and the portal for sending applications, in the following web page: https://www.ciencia.gob.es/portal/site/MICINN/menuitem.dbc68b34d11ccbd5… The reference to apply for this thesis project is PID2019-107061GB-C61 Deadlines: From 13/10/2020 to 27/10/2020 Additional information: David Barrado (barrado@cab.inta-csic), Jorge Lillo-Box (jlillo@cab.inta-csic.es) *Due to the migration of our webpage to a new one, we are unable to announce this offer directly in our page at the moment.