Jonas Sauter

Jonas Sauter   (Germany)

sauter @

Thermal infrared studies of exoplanets with the‬ VLT and ELT

Embarking on the frontier of astronomy, my research within the realm of next-generation‬ 30m telescopes, particularly the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) and its Mid-infrared ELT‬ Imager (METIS), opens doors to unprecedented exploration of exoplanets - celestial bodies‬ beyond our solar system, ranging from Earth-like worlds to those with diverse and unique‬ ‭characteristics.‬

METIS, armed with cutting-edge technologies, facilitates the measurement of orbital‬ ‭parameters, internal structures, temperature profiles, and atmospheric composition of a wide‬ ‭range of exoplanets. This inclusive approach allows us to study the rich tapestry of‬ exoplanetary systems, unraveling the diversity that exists among these distant worlds.‬

However, the Earth's atmosphere, marked by its thermal emissions and turbulence, presents‬ ‭a formidable hurdle for ground-based exoplanet astronomy in the thermal infrared. In the‬ ‭nascent stages of my doctoral research, I undertake a dual-pronged approach. On one front,‬ ‭I meticulously characterize the atmosphere's thermal background using innovative correction‬ ‭strategies, actively leveraging archive observations from the Very Large Telescope (VLT).‬ ‭Simultaneously, I delve into the practical intricacies of assembling and calibrating the‬ ‭wavefront sensor for METIS Adaptive Optics (AO). The AO aims to counteract wavefront‬ ‭deformations induced by atmospheric turbulence. Together, these complementary endeavors‬ ‭contribute synergistically to enhancing METIS’s capabilities, paving the way to unveil the‬ secrets concealed within the vast exoplanetary realms.‬

Supervisor:    Wolfgang Brandner  (MPIA)

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