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Europlanet Society



Title: INPHINIT PHD FELLOWSHIP: Computer science applied to the minor bodies in the solar system

Center: Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía

Type: Predoctoral


The doctoral fellowship programme INPhINIT ”la Caixa” is devoted to attracting talented Early-Stage Researchers of any nationality to pursue their PhD studies in the best Spanish and Portuguese research centres and units with excellence distinction.

Research Project / Research Group Description

Historically the study of the physical properties of minor bodies in our solar system was done doing planned ground-based and space observations.Telescopes likes Hubble, Spitzer, Wise or Herschel were used. Then, most recently, large ground-based and space-based stars and/or galaxies surveys were planned with diverse objectives but were used by the minor bodies community to study the background minor bodies. That means, the telescope was pointing to a field of view to study some galaxy, star cluster or specific star and diverse minor bodies can be identified and studied in that pointing. The first large data release of minor bodies published using this technique was the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Moving Object Catalog. The catalog lists astrometric and photometric data for moving objects observed during the Survey. The advantage of these kind of data is that there are ready to use in the databases where the survey’s team applied the pipeline to extract the data from the observations. Other current examples of this kind of catalogues are: Wise, K2, Tess, Gaia and in a near future the LSST. Another huge source of data are the ground-based observations, where again, are planned with diverse objectives and a minor body can be found in the background. We want to extract the information on these minor bodies that appears on the images that were not planned to observe these bodies. We will use all the databases of minor bodie´s observations from the last 20 years, together with the observations made by our group, and extract as much information as possible. The challenge in analyzing the data lies in the heterogeneity of the data, the different observing conditions, formats, and timing of the data. The project aims to use data analysis tools to interpret the physical properties of these minor bodies observed in such different conditions and times. The developed tools can be used in the analysis of other databases in the future.


Title: Massive navigation of planetary images from the PVOL database

Center: Universidad del País Vasco

Type: Postdoctoral


The Planetary Sciences Group at UPV/EHU in Bilbao, Spain, offers a short post-doc position of 10 months (extendable) to work with amateur images of Solar System planets in the PVOL database at The contract is funded by the Europlanet 2024 Research Infraestructure as part of its VESPA activities.

The goal of the project is to develop a system to massively map in a semi-interactive way selected ground-based images of the planets, with the main target being Jupiter. These maps will be uploaded into the PVOL database and will be used to investigate changes in the atmospheres of the planet. While most of the work will be technical, science objectives will be linked to: (1) analysis of zonal winds and atmospheric changes on different time-scales; (2) improvement of spatial resolution by combining information of different maps from different observers. In addition, movies of the maps will show the planet’s dynamic atmosphere for outreach purposes.

The candidate will work with Artificial Intelligence techniques to identify the planet’s limb on the image files and fit an ellipse to the planet. Navigation will be provided by using the SPICE system. Formal training on SPICE will be given at the host institution. Most technical challenges will be related to pattern recognition (identifying the planet position and orientation on PVOL images).

Interested candidates should write to Ricardo Hueso (e-mail: Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.).


Title: Radio emission from star-planet interaction

Center: Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)

Type: Predoctoral


The doctoral fellowship programme INPhINIT ”la Caixa” is devoted to attracting talented Early-Stage Researchers of any nationality to pursue their PhD studies in the best Spanish and Portuguese research centres and units with excellence distinction.

Research Project / Research Group Description

This project has two main goals. First, to search for radio emission arising from starplanet interaction in nearby stars with confirmed exoplanets. The detection of starplanet radio emission would allow us to use it as an independent tracer for future searches of habitable planets. The second main goal is to test star-planet interaction scenarios via radio observations for a number of stars. We will focus on M stars, which are the most abundant type of stars in our galaxy and, due to their low mass, are ideal for searching Earth-type planets. We intend to exploit the fact that the magnetic interaction between this type of stars with planets close enough can lead to radio emission that can be detectable from Earth.

This project has a strong observational component, and the successful candidate will become proficient in the use of radio interferometry techniques, including the software needed to reduce the radio data, which the main workhorse of the project. The candidate will work with radio interferometry data collected so far from state-ofthe-art interferometers, including the the Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA), the Giant Metre Wave Ratio Telescope (GMRT), the MeerKAT interferometer, the e-MERLIN, or the international LOFAR telescope. The successful candidate will become part of the CARMENES collaboration, and is expected to lead additional radio proposals from the planets that will be discovered, searching for signals of radio emission from the most promising targets to show star-planet interaction. The successful candidate will also become familiar with the physics behind the radio emission from exoplanets, and from star-planet interaction, as well as with magneto-hydrodynamic simulations to study the potential habitability of exoplanets around host stars. The overall goal of this project is to advance in our understanding of the origin of radio emission in exoplanets, tying it to the physical properties of the exoplanets and their host stars.