Karan Molaverdikhani (Iran)
karan @ mpia.de
Physics and Chemistry of Planetary Atmospheres
Chemical composition and temperature structure of most of the studied planetary atmospheres have been explored by using retrieval and/or self-consistent models, assuming thermochemical equilibrium dominates at all pressures. This assumption has been shown to be a plausible approximation for several hot-Jupiter cases, however, photochemistry influences the low-pressure region at the top of atmospheres and mixing/vertical transport maintain the chemical composition of mid-pressure regimes of atmospheres out of equilibrium. Consequently, investigation of non-hot-Jupiter atmospheres demands the consideration of kinetic models where thermochemical equilibrium is no longer valid. My current focus is to investigate planetary atmospheres by developing a fast 1D non-equilibrium chemistry model and integrate it with our in-house radiative self-consistent model (petitCODE) and then couple this integrated model with an adapted GCM (global circulation model) for exoplanets to explore the diversity of atmospheric regimes. This would help us to determine dominant processes in the atmospheric regimes of cooler and/or non-H/He dominated planetary atmospheres to move another step in the direction of finding bio-signatures on other planets in the coming years.
Supervisor: Thomas Henning (MPIA)