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:

Marc Buie 19 Apr 2019 
Mark Buie: "Exploring the outer solar system: A window into our past", 10am, Physics Colloquium.   (more info)


PhD Position

St Leonard's College European Interdisciplinary Doctoral Scholarship at the University of St Andrews' Center for Exoplanet Science

PhD position in quantifying lightning as source of prebiotic molecules on the early Earth and other worlds
Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position at the University of St Andrews' Centre for Exoplanet Science. The project will be jointly conducted and supervised at the School of Physics & Astronomy and the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences.
Deadline:   22 April 2019
Details:   here

StA-CES Journal Club / Reading Group

StA-CES members present research papers from their research areas.
contact: Oliver Herbort, Dominic Samra, Elliott Fogg

Monday 22 April 2019,  13:00h,   George Cumming Room (327), Irvine Building
Fran Bartolić will present a paper on 'TESS Photometric Mapping of a Terrestrial Planet in the Habitable Zone: Detection of Clouds, Oceans, and Continents'.   Here is a link to the article.

The Journal Club is at the time slot of 13:00h, alternating between the George Cumming Room (Irvine Building) on odd weeks and room 222 in Physics in even weeks. For weeks when there is a StA-CES lunch time meeting, there will be no Journal Club.

StA-CES lunchtime meetings

We continue our series of informal lunches this Spring. With the continued desire to learn more from each other and identify synergies, each lunch will have a "theme", and we will all contribute to a discussion on the theme, sharing research practices in our various fields and/or asking questions of others.
Our lunch time meetings during the Spring Term 2019 will be:
4 March  —  Getting data/sources
8 April   —  Statistical models
13 May  —  Mathematical models
10 June  —  Machine Learning/AI
The Lunches will take place in the Seminar Room of the Centre for Biological Diversity: this is in the Dyers Brae House (between Queen's Terrace and Greenside Place, beside the Kinnessburn), from 13:00-14:00h.



The Scottish Exoplanet / Brown Dwarf Spring Meeting 2019 which will be held on 24 April 2018 at the University of St Andrews, Medical Building Seminar Room 2, from 10:30h to 17:00h.
Participants are asked to introduce their research (science questions & methodology). We would like to put emphasis on methodology rather than advertisement. PhD students will be given most of the time, staff will get 2 mins.

Future Events

  • 1-7 July 2019, London   Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (participation Martin Dominik).
  • 25-27 August 2020, St Andrews   Meeting of the Network of Researchers Chemical Evolution to Life (NoR CEL) (chaired by Martin Dominik and Sohan Jheeta).
Les Houches School of Physics

Cloud Academy II

Dates:   8 - 13 March 2020
Venue:   Les Houches School for Physics
Cloud Academy II   will focus on physical models for cloud and haze formation in planetary atmospheres in different radiation environments, and include reviews on exoplanet observations and laboratory studies.
The previous session (e.g. Cloud Academy I ) focused on atmosphere circulation and the general concept of cloud formation in exoplanet and solar system planets. The present session forges a closer link to observations through detailed atmosphere models as exoplanet research is now developing into the characterization of exoplanets. We therefore aim to establish an ongoing effort to help the community keep up to date and exchange ideas on this rapidly developing field.
Registration will open in 2019.     ( more info )