Job Advertisement: Closing Date 31st March 2016
A call is ongoing for a PhD project on the "Detection and
characterization of planets orbiting oscillating red-giant stars with
NASA's TESS mission". An abstract of the proposed PhD project can be
found below. Details on the application procedure can be found at
http://phd-space.iastro.pt/?page_id=835. This PhD project has been made
available in the context of the PhD::SPACE Program, funded by the FCT PD
Program Initiative (Portugal). The deadline for applications is the
31st of March 2016.
The successful candidate would be spending 1/3 of their time at the
University of Birmingham (UK) under the supervision of Dr. Tiago
Campante, while the remaining 2/3 would be spent at IA-U.Porto
(Portugal) under the supervision of Dr. Margarida Cunha and Dr. Nuno
Santos. Upon satisfactory completion, this project will lead to a PhD
degree issued by the University of Porto.
Further information on the project can be directly obtained from Dr.
Tiago Campante ([log in to unmask]).
Abstract: The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA
space mission with scheduled launch for late 2017 that will perform a
wide-field survey for planets transiting bright nearby stars.
Furthermore, TESS's excellent photometric precision, combined with its
fine time sampling and long intervals of uninterrupted observations,
will enable asteroseismology (i.e., the study of stars by the
observation of their natural oscillations) of solar-type and red-giant
stars. Asteroseismology is proving to be particularly significant for
the study of red-giant stars while quickly maturing into a powerful tool
whose impact is being felt more widely across different domains of
astrophysics. A noticeable example is the synergy between
asteroseismology and exoplanetary science. TESS hence offers the
exciting prospect of conducting asteroseismology on a significant number
of evolved exoplanet-host stars. The main goal of this project will be
to use TESS photometry to systematically detect and characterize
transiting planets orbiting oscillating red-giant stars. To that end, we
propose an end-to-end PhD project that will provide the student with
skills in (i) transit photometry analysis, (ii) asteroseismic data
analysis and stellar modeling, and (iii) radial-velocity/spectroscopic
techniques. The implications of this project are far-reaching. The
proposed systematic search for transiting planets orbiting oscillating
red-giant stars is expected to provide new insights into some of the
outstanding problems in exoplanetary science, namely, (i) on the planet
occurrence rate as a function of stellar mass/evolutionary state, (ii)
on the correlation between stellar metallicity and planet occurrence
around evolved stars or (iii) on the structural aspects of gas-giant
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