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, 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.
27 November 2017 - Abstract submission deadline
22 December 2017 - End of very early bird registration
The physics and chemistry of planetary atmospheres:
• Observation of atmospheres, • Atmosphere modelling for planet, • Atmosphere chemistry, • Clouds in exoplanet atmospheres
Scientific organisers: Christiane Helling (St Andrews), Leen Decin (Leuven), Nathan Mayne (Exeter), Peter Read (Oxford)
The study of life on and off Earth needs unified funding and a coherent plan, say Caleb Scharf, Debra Fischer and Victoria Meadows in this Nature Comment.
''It is more than two decades since we learnt that the Universe is awash with other worlds. … The range of systems is dazzling. … This raises a big question: is life common in the Universe? … Within a decade or two, we might find traces of extraterrestrial life in our Solar System. … Insights from many disciplines are needed to discover which ingredients, mechanisms and environmental pathways create and sustain life. … Exoplanetary exploration should be central to this quest. … Competition over resources and intellectual turf is fierce among all these fields. Here, interaction, not isolation, between scientists is needed. …''
This article highlights three key questions that illustrate how exoplanet systems science can draw disciplines together.
Nature, Vol. 553, 149, 11 January 2018
The Scottish Exoplanet / Brown Dwarf Spring Meeting 2018 which will be held at the University of St Andrews in April 2018.
This is the sixth meeting in a series of bi-annual, informal meetings alternating between the University of St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh.