Rationale

Understanding how unusual Earth is may help humanity to appreciate how special it is.

November 2016: More than 3300 planets are known to orbit stars far beyond the solar system, in planetary systems very different to our own. There may well be hundreds of billions of extrasolar planets in the Milky Way alone. These planets include planetary types not found among the eight planets that orbit our Sun, including mini-Neptunes, super-Earths, rogue or nomad planets and hot gas-giant planets. Are we therefore alone in the Universe? To answer this pertinent question, we seek to understand the formation and evolution of our own solar system and the reasons for this rich planetary diversity.

The Centre for Exoplanet Science brings together researchers from different disciplines to find out how planets form in different galactic environments, how their atmospheres evolve, and the relation between the evolutionary history of planets and the emergence of life. We are further interested in the moral, ethical and technical aspects of detecting existent or extinct extra-terrestrial life in distant exosystems, or within our own solar system, and the significance of such a discovery for our societies.

The Centre for Exoplanet Science builds on the rich legacy of the SUPA Astrobiology initiative.

The Centre for Exoplanet Science currently combines research from the School of Physics & Astronomy (Astronomy), the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and the Department of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews.

We are affiliated with the   Centre for Exoplanet Science   at the University of Edinburgh.

StA-CES related talks:

29 Oct 2018  StA-CES lunchtime meeting, 1pm, Physics Staff Common Room.
30 Oct 2018  Richard White: "Thermodynamic modelling of planetary processes using thermocalc", 1pm, Astronomy Lunchtime Talks, room 222.
5 Nov 2018  Peter Woitke: "Gas and Dust in Protoplanetary Discs", 1pm, SEES Seminar.
6 Nov 2018  Christiane Helling: "Sparkling nights and fuming days on the giant gas planet WASP-18b", 1pm, Astronomy Lunchtime Talks, room 222.
16 Nov 2018  Simon Hodgkin: (title tba), 10am, Physics Colloquium.
23 Nov 2018  Katherine Hawley: "Trust & ethics in science communication", 10am, Physics Colloquium.
26 Nov 2018  StA-CES lunchtime meeting, 1pm, Physics Staff Common Room.

Royal Society of Edinburgh

RSE workshops

Centre members Katherine Hawley and Ben Sachs have been awarded a workshops grant from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, to investigate ethical issues arising from exoplanet science.

Workshop I:   "Environmental Ethics and Value in the Age of Exoplanets"   6 October 2018, Ben Sachs, St Andrews
Workshop II:   "Extra-terrestrial Life and Purpose in the Universe"   12 October 2018, Tim Mulgan, St Andrews
Workshop III:   "Trust and Public Communication in Science"   (Jan 2019), Katherine Hawley, St Andrews

Scottish Exoplanet/Brown Dwarf Autumn Meeting 2018

The Scottish Exoplanet / Brown Dwarf Autumn Meeting (SEBD7) will be held in the Rooftop Gallery at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh on 24 October 2018. This is the seventh meeting in a series of bi-annual, informal meetings alternating between the University of St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh.

Recent publications