Planetary Models for Asteroseismology


  • Call:

    IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2015

  • Academic Year:

    2015 / 2016

  • Domain:


  • Supervisor:

    Mario J. P. F. G. Monteiro

  • Co-Supervisor:

  • Institution:

    Universidade do Porto

  • Host Institution:

    Instituto de Astrofisica e Ciencias do Espaco

  • Abstract:

    The calculation of interior models for planets is still strongly dependent on several unknowns. Namely the equation of state in the regimes expected to exist in the interior of those planets (including for solids, melting metals, liquids and gas) and the unknown interior chemical composition and stratification in those planets. Therefore, new tools to validate planetary models are required. These may be used to study the planets in the solar system, but space mission in preparation hold the promise of extending those studies to planets in other stars. The present PhD work plan will focus on using the basic structure and evolution equations to model different planet interior configurations with the quality required to perform global seismic studies of those models. The student will develop numerical codes to implement the structure equations and the physics adequate for specific populations of planets. This will be done in order to obtain a structure that is precise and adequately described for obtaining the seismic properties of the models. When this goal is achieved specific seismic indices for studying different planets and interior configurations will be explored in order to build a reference set of tools that can be used for probing some of the planets in the solar system. The proposed project is mostly theoretical, involving a major component on developing numerical codes. These are needed to provide a theoretical overview on how the equation of state and chemical stratification give global seismic indices able to identify the key components of the interior structure of planets. These models and the seismic tools will be used to predict how future observations should be planned and to establish what the new physics may be required to fit the data we expect to collect. The outcome of the project will support a new vision for the next generation of space missions being planned to characterize in detail the full range of planets being discovered.