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Jonathan Tennyson

Professor Jonathan Tennyson

Professor Jonathan Tennyson

Research Fellow

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Molecular line lists for extra solar planet and other hot bodies

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Organisation: University College London

Dates: Sep 2011-Aug 2016

Value: £72,000

Summary: It is now apparent that exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars) are common and most stars support such planets. The wealth of observational discoveries, however, is not well matched by theoretical advances in the same field: modelling the atmospheres of planetary and stellar objects, and hence deriving their chemical composition, temperature, etc. is still impeded by the lack of fundamental data, especially in molecular spectroscopy. Extremely expensive, new and forthcoming telescopes (Herschel, ALMA, ELT, JWST, SPICA) or proposed ones (Twinkle, Ariel) will only help to characterise such objects if a commensurate effort is made to secure the tools required to interpret the observations. The ExoMol project aims to provide the information needed to understand the physics and chemistry of astronomical bodies cool enough to form molecules in their atmospheres such as cool stars, extrasolar planets. The project is now actively producing very extensive line lists of spectroscopic data (a single molecule can undergo a billion different transitions). This is generating significant interest from astronomers and others world-wide.

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