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 Journal Club / Reading Group

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

Monday 18 February 2019,  13:00h,   room 222  (Physics and Astronomy)
Fran Bartolić will be presenting the paper 'ExoGAN: Retrieving Exoplanetary Atmospheres Using Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks'.
The paper is on the application of deep neural networks for modelling exoplanet atmospheres. Fran will focus his discussion more on the use of such techniques in exoplanet science and the dangers of over-fitting data.

From now on the journal club will be at the time slot of 13:00h, alternating between the George Cumming Room 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.

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 )

Recent publications