PaulAnthonyWilson.com | Characterising the composition of a super-Earth

Characterising the composition of a super-Earth

Super-Earth exoplanets exhibit large degeneracies between their internal and atmospheric compositions and their masses. Atmospheric characterisation may be the only way to help constrain the overall bulk composition of these hot planets. Using the GTC 10.4 m telescope I performed the first tunable filter observations of a super-Earth (GJ 1214b) to look for the presence of methane. No signs of methane high in the atmosphere was found, suggesting the presence of an atmosphere with a high mean-molecular weight or the presence of high altitude clouds (Wilson et al. 2014a).

The images shows me at the helm of the 10.4 m telescope in La Palma.