The search for life in the universe has been driven by recent discoveries of planets around other stars (known as exoplanets), becoming one of the most active fields in modern astrophysics. The growing number of new exoplanets discovered in recent years and the recent advance on the study of their atmospheres are not only providing new valuable
Exoplanets and Solar System
The area of planetary and solar systems involves several research groups working on Exoplanets, Solar System and Cultural Astronomy. Our main objectives are:
- The detection and characterization of giant and rocky planets around nearby stars using the most advanced instruments (CARMENES, ESPRESSO, HARPS Norte y Sur, SONG, LCO, MUSCAT2) and space missions (CoRoT, Kepler K2, CHEOPS, TESS and PLATO). The group is particularly interested in the study of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of their host stars where water can be in liquid form.
- The characterization of the atmospheres of planets to know their structure and composition, both by transits and direct imaging, using ground-based telescopes such as GTC and space missions such as CHEOPS.
- Investigate the formation of exoplanet systems by studying the chemical composition of planet host stars, and the dynamical evolution of exoplanets at their early stages of formation.
- Study the physical properties of different families of minor bodies of the Solar System (asteroids, comets, trans-neptunian objects, etc.) to understand the origin and evolution of Solar System with GTC and space missions such as OSIRIS-REx.
- The study of ancient cosmologies through cultural astronomy and the defense of cultural heritage through the astronomy.