Journal Club


  • 27 Sep 2020: “The Detectability of Nightside City Lights on Exoplanets” (Ancy Anna John)
  • 20 Sep 2021: “Molecules with ALMA at Planet-forming Scales (MAPS) I: Program Overview and Highlights”  (Till Käufer)
  • 13 Sep 2021: “Empirically determining Substellar Cloud compositions in the era of JWST”  (Jan-Philip Sindel)
  • 6 Sep 2021: “Habitability and Biosignatures of Hycean Worlds”  (Dominic Samra)
  • 16 Aug 2021: “The Mass Budgets and Spatial Scales of Exoplanet Systems and Protoplanetary Disks”  (Thorsten Balduin)
  • 9 Aug 2021: “Transmission Spectroscopy of the Earth-Sun System to Inform the Search for Extrasolar Life”  (Oliver Herbort)
  • 2 Aug 2021: “Molecules for the origin of life from impact-generated atmospheres on early Earth”  (Nick Wogan)
  • 26 Jul 2021: “Bifurcation of planetary building blocks during Solar System formation”  (Tim Lichtenberg)
  • 19 Jul 2021: “Impact gardening on Europa and repercussions for possible biosignatures”  (Patrick Barth)
  • 12 Jul 2021: “Access, Astronomy and Science Fiction: A Case Study in Curriculum Design”  (Emma Puranen)
  • 5 Jul 2021: “Transit detection of the long-period volatile-rich super-Earth ν2 Lupi d with CHEOPS”  (Tom Wilson)
  • 28 Jun 2021: “The misuse of colour in science communication”  (Till Käufer)
  • 21 Jun 2021: “Possibilities for an Aerial Biosphere in Temperate Sub Neptune-Sized Exoplanet Atmospheres”  (Jan-Philip Sindel)
  • 14 Jun 2021: “The Diversity of Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry”  (Patrick Barth)
  • 31 May 2021: “A review on the current and future exoplanet observing facilities”  (Tom Wilson)
  • 24 May 2021: “Surface and Temporal Biosignatures”  (Anna John)
  • 17 May 2021: “Toward a List of Molecules as Potential Biosignature Gases for the Search for Life on Exoplanets and Applications to Terrestrial Biochemistry”  (Oliver Herbort)
  • 19 Apr 2021: “How Will We React to the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?”  (Sven Kiefer)
  • 12 Apr 2021: “What Is Life: Various Definitions Towards The Contemporary Astrobiology”  (Till Käufer)
  • 22 Mar 2021: “Representing culture in interstellar messages”  (Patrick Barth)
  • 15 Mar 2021: “Alien Tongues”  (Emily Finer)
  • 8 Mar 2021: “A language based on the fundamental facts of science”  (Thorsten Balduin)
  • 22 Feb 2021: “Absolute Prioritization of Planetary Protection, Safety, and Avoiding Imperialism in All Future Science Missions: A Policy Perspective”  (Adam Bower)
  • 15 Feb 2021: “Humans Should Not Colonize Mars”  (Emma Puranen)
  • 8 Feb 2021: “Report of the Joint Workshop on Induced Special Regions”  (Patrick Barth)
  • 25 Jan 2021: “CO Depletion in Protoplanetary Disks: A Unified Picture Combining Physical Sequestration and Chemical Processing” (Thorsten Balduin)
  • 18 Jan 2021: “MOVES IV. Modelling the influence of stellar XUV-flux, cosmic rays, and stellar energetic particles on the atmospheric composition of the hot Jupiter HD 189733b” (Patrick Barth)
  • 11 Jan 2021: “A Terrestrial-mass Rogue Planet Candidate Detected in the Shortest-timescale Microlensing Event” (Martin Dominik)
  • 7 Dec 2020: “Life under another Sun: From Science Fiction to Science” (Emma Puranen)
  • 23 Nov 2020: “Separating planetary reflex Doppler shifts from stellar variability in the wavelength domain” (Andrew Cameron)
  • 16 Nov 2020: “Orbital Eccentricity – Multiplicity Correlation for Planetary Systems and Comparison to the Solar System” (Nanna Bach-Møller)
  • 2 Nov 2020: “Molecular water detected on the sunlit Moon by SOFIA”, “Micro cold traps on the Moon” (Ancy Anna John, Till Käufer)
  • 26 Oct 2020: “The hot dayside and asymmetric transit of WASP-189 b seen by CHEOPS” (Tom Wilson)
  • 5 Oct 2020: “Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus” (Jane Greaves)
  • 28 Sep 2020: “Mineral dust increases the habitability of terrestrial planets but confounds biomarker detection” (Patrick Barth)
  • 14 Sep 2020: “The Venusian Lower Atmosphere Haze as a Depot for Desiccated Microbial Life: A Proposed Life Cycle for Persistence of the Venusian Aerial Biosphere” (Christiane Helling)
  • 24 Aug 2020: “HCN production in Titan’s Atmosphere: Coupling quantum chemistry and disequilibrium atmospheric modeling” (Dominic Samra)
  • 17 Aug 2020: “Stellar impact on disequilibrium chemistry and observed spectra of hot Jupiter atmospheres” (Denis Shulyak)
  • 10 Aug 2020: Exoplanets 3 Virtual Conference (Samra, Barth, Herbort)
  • 3 Aug 2020: “Revisiting HCN formation in Earth’s early atmosphere” (Lukas Rossmanith)
  • 20 Jul 2020: “Habitability of the early Earth: Liquid water under a faint young Sun facilitated by strong tidal heating due to a nearby Moon” (Oliver Herbort)
  • 13 Jul 2020: “Creation and Evolution of Impact-generated Reduced Atmospheres of Early Earth” (Patrick Barth)
  • 30 Jun 2020: “Interpreting high spatial resolution line observations of planet-forming disks with gaps and rings” (Peter Woitke)
  • 22 Jun 2020: “Streamer discharges in the atmosphere of Primordial Earth” (Christoph Köhn)
  • 15 Jun 2020: “An introduction to streamer discharges” (Christoph Köhn)
  • 8 Jun 2020: “Phosphine as a Biosignature Gas in Exoplanet Atmospheres” (Oliver Herbort)
  • 1 Jun 2020: “Mineral cloud and hydrocarbon haze particles in the atmosphere of the hot Jupiter JWST target WASP-43b” (Christiane Helling)
  • 25 May 2020: “Transient Sulfate Aerosols as a Signature of Exoplanet Volcanism” (Eva Stüeken)
  • 18 May 2020: “Laboratory studies on the viability of life in H2-dominated exoplanet atmospheres” (Dominic Samra)
  • 11 May 2020: “Atmospheric disequilibrium as an exoplanet biosignature: Opportunities for next generation telescopes” (Patrick Barth)
  • 27 Apr 2020: “Habitability is a binary property” (Dominic Samra)
  • 20 Apr 2020: “A Fossilized Energy Distribution of Lightning” (Eva Stüeken)
  • 13 Apr 2020: “Atmospheric convection plays a key role in the climate of tidally-locked terrestrial exoplanets: insights from high-resolution simulations” (Oliver Herbort)
  • 6 Apr 2020: “Proxima Centauri b: A Strong Case for including Cosmic-Ray-induced Chemistry in Atmospheric Biosignature Studies” (Patrick Barth)
  • 24 Feb 2020: “Lifetimes of interstellar dust from cosmic ray exposure ages of presolar silicon carbide” (Eva Stüeken)
  • 17 Feb 2020: “The storage capacity of fluorine in olivine and pyroxene under upper mantle conditions” (Filippo Formoso)
  • 10 Feb 2020: “Sulfate Aerosol Hazes and SO2 Gas as Constraints on Rocky Exoplanets” (Oliver Herbort)
  • 27 Jan 2020: “The AMBRE project: searching for the closest solar siblings” (Tom Wilson)
  • 20 Jan 2020: “Understanding the atmospheric properties and chemical composition of the ultra-hot Jupiter HAT-P-7b II. Mapping the effects of gas kinetics” (Dominic Samra)
  • 13 Jan 2020: “Nebula-Relay theory: primitive life in nebula and the origin of life on the earth” (Patrick Barth)
  • 16 Dec 2019: “Prebiotic chemistry and atmospheric warming of early Earth by an active young Sun” (Eva Stüeken)
  • 9 Dec 2019: “The Compositional Diversity of Low-Mass Exoplanets” (Dominic Samra)
  • 2 Dec 2019: “Extrasolar Cosmochemistry” (Tom Wilson)
  • 18 Nov 2019: “A Joint Mass-Radius-Period Distribution of Exoplanets” (Fran Bartolic)
  • 11 Nov 2019: “Lightning in other planets” (Christiane Helling)
  • 28 Oct 2019: “Atmospheric Escape and the Evolution of Close-In Exoplanets” (Oliver Herbort)
  • 7 Oct 2019: “Strict Upper Limits on the Carbon-to-Oxygen Ratios of Eight Hot Jupiters from Self-Consistent Atmospheric Retrieval” (Sonny Harman, Mark Fox-Powell)
  • 30 Sep 2019: “VPLanet: The Virtual Planet Simulator” (Patrick Barth)
  • 23 Sep 2019: “Machine learning on difference image analysis: A comparison of methods for transient detection” (James Hitchcock)
  • 16 Sep 2019: “Water Vapor on the Habitable-Zone Exoplanet K2-18b” (open discussion)   link to article
  • 9 Sep 2019: “A sub-Neptune exoplanet with a low-metallicity methane-depleted atmosphere and Mie-scattering clouds” (Dominic Samra)
  • 2 Sep 2019: “Atmosphere-interior Exchange on Hot, Rocky Exoplanets” (Oliver Herbort)
  • 26 Aug 2019: “Discovery of extra-terrestrial life: assessment by scales of its importance and associated risks” (Martin Dominik)
  • 19 Aug 2019: “Detecting life outside our solar system with a large high-contrast-imaging mission (ESA Voyage 2050 white paper)” (Christiane Helling)
  • 5 Aug 2019: “An in-depth look at the Las Cumbres Observatory Scheduler” (Elliott Fogg)
  • 29 Jul 2019: “Experimental exploration of volcanic rocks-atmosphere interaction under Venus surface conditions” (Oliver Herbort)
  • 22 Jul 2019: “The Random Transiter – EPIC 249706694/HD 139139” (Nicole Schanche)
  • 15 Jul 2019: “Equatorial anti-rotating day side wind flow in WASP-43b elicited by deep wind jets?” (Dominic Samra)
  • 24 Jun 2019: “Dreaming Of Atmospheres” (Nicole Schanche)
  • 17 Jun 2019: Introduction to the basics of cloud formation theory and the numerical codes used (Christiane Helling, Peter Woitke)
  • 3 Jun 2019: “Life without definitions” (Ashley Watkins)
  • 27 May 2019: “From Cold to Hot Irradiated Gaseous Exoplanets: Toward an Observation-based Classification Scheme” (Oliver Herbort)
  • 20 May 2019: “Non-grey month-long brightening of KIC 8462852 in the immediate aftermath of a deep dip” (James Hitchcock)
  • 29 Apr 2019: “Effects of a fully 3D atmospheric structure on exoplanet transmission spectra: retrieval biases due to day-night temperature gradients” (Dominic Samra)
  • 22 Apr 2019: “TESS Photometric Mapping of a Terrestrial Planet in the Habitable Zone: Detection of Clouds, Oceans, and Continents” (Fran Bartolic)   link to article
  • 15 Apr 2019: “Noble gases recycled into the mantle through cold subduction zones” (Filippo Formoso)
  • 1 Apr 2019: “Fluffy dust forms icy infinitesimals by static compression” (Dominic Samra)
  • 25 Mar 2019: “Radio signals resulting from magnetic activities of planets and stars” (Irena Vorgul)
  • 18 Mar 2019: “Cloud formation in diffusive atmospheres” (Peter Woitke)
  • 11 Mar 2019: “Stellar Activity Effects on Moist Habitable Terrestrial Atmospheres Around M dwarfs” (Oliver Herbort)
  • 18 Feb 2019: “ExoGAN: Retrieving Exoplanetary Atmospheres Using Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks” (Fran Bartolic)
  • 4 Feb 2019: “Can we know anything about aliens without ever seeing one?” (Ethan Landes)
  • 28 Jan 2019: “H2O abundances and cloud properties in ten hot giant exoplanets” (Christiane Helling)
  • 21 Jan 2019: “Spectrally resolved helium absorption from the extended atmosphere of a warm Neptune-mass exoplanet” (Dominic Samra)
  • 14 Jan 2019: “Trust in Science – a recap” (Ashley Watkins)


Planet-forming disks around stars

planet-forming disks
Planets form in protoplanetary disks as by-product of star formation. Artist’s conception of the dust and gas disk surrounding the star Beta Pictoris. (Credit: NASA/Lynette Cook)


The Habitable Zone around Stars

habilitable zone
This plot shows the extension of the Habitable Zone around F, G, K, and M stars. The Warm ‘Habitable’ Zone is divided into a narrower ‘Conservative Habitable Zone’ (light green) and a wider ‘Optimistic Habitable Zone’ (dark green). Earth is at the inner edge of the ‘Conservative Habitable Zone.’   (Credit: PHL@UPR Arecibo)


CNRS Sagascience: Exoplanets

Sagascience Exoplanets
What does an exoplanet look like? What are the detection techniques and instruments? A line-up of remarkable exoplanets? Hypotheses about extraterrestrial civilizations? The challenges facing astrobiology and geochemistry?   (Credit: CNRS/sagascience)


Climate and environment

Volcano Plosky Tolbachik in Kamchatka
Knowing the geological history of our own solar system will help us to understand exosystems and to constrain the environmental conditions of these exoplanets with the aim of addressing if they are potentially habitable. Eruption of volcano Plosky Tolbachik, Kamchatka. (Credit: AirPano)


Ethics of exploration and contact

Responsibility. Values. Trust. How would our world change if we found complex lifeforms elsewhere in the universe? Antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/ submillimeter Array (ALMA) on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes. (Credit: ESO/C. Malin)