The Occurrence of Cold Planets in the Galaxy

Closing Date

27th November 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

The project aims to explore a unique niche in exoplanet detection: searches for cold planets down to Earth mass, including ice giants and rogue free-floating planets. These are significant because they are completely different from most known exoplanets, being far from their host stars and unique probes of planet formation theory. They may include Earth-mass planets around the most common type of star in the galaxy, red dwarfs. Discovering these planets and learning whether their frequency varies with location in the Galaxy can only be done with gravitational microlensing experiments.

This project involves collaboration with a large international research group using telescopes in Tasmania, North and South America, and in space. The duties of the PhD candidate will involve observing and measuring candidate planetary events from the University of Tasmania 1.27 and 0.5 metre telescopes and modeling the time series photometric light curves of the events in order to determine their planetary nature. Depending on the details of the systems discovered, this may involve additional visible and infrared wavelength data from a variety of telescopes. Planetary system parameters will be determined by applying Bayesian models in a variety of computing environments.

  • Applicant to be assessed according to the same criteria used for any other scholarship ranking round, according to performance in the BSc/Hons/MSc degrees & referees

Applicants from the following disciplines are eligible to apply:

  • Astronomy, physics, or a closely-related subject

See the following web page for entry requirements:

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, Andrew Cole for further information.