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1. Mollière, Paul Maurice. Modeling of Exoplanet Atmospheres.

Degree: PhD, The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, 2017, Universität Heidelberg

Spectrally characterizing exoplanet atmospheres will be one of the fastest moving astronomical disciplines in the years to come. Especially the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will provide spectral measurements from the near- to mid-infrared of unprecedented precision. With other next generation instruments on the horizon, it is crucial to possess the tools necessary for interpretating observations. To this end I wrote the petitCODE, which solves for the self-consistent atmospheric structures of exoplanets, assuming chemical and radiative-convective equilibrium. The code includes scattering, and models clouds. The code outputs the planet’s observable emission and transmission spectra. In addition, I constructed a spectral retrieval code, which derives the full posterior probability distribution of atmospheric parameters from observations. I used petitCODE to systematically study the atmospheres of hot jupiters and found, e.g., that their structures depend strongly on the type of their host stars. Moreover, I found that C/O ratios around unity can lead to atmospheric inversions. Next, I produced synthetic observations of prime exoplanet targets for JWST, and studied how well we will be able to distinguish various atmospheric scenarios. Finally, I verified the implementation of my retrieval code using mock JWST observations. Advisors/Committee Members: Henning, Thomas (advisor).

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APA (6th Edition):

Mollière, P. M. (2017). Modeling of Exoplanet Atmospheres. (Doctoral Dissertation). Universität Heidelberg. Retrieved from; 10.11588/heidok.00023252

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Mollière, Paul Maurice. “Modeling of Exoplanet Atmospheres.” 2017. Doctoral Dissertation, Universität Heidelberg. Accessed October 24, 2017.; 10.11588/heidok.00023252.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Mollière, Paul Maurice. “Modeling of Exoplanet Atmospheres.” 2017. Web. 24 Oct 2017.


Mollière PM. Modeling of Exoplanet Atmospheres. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Universität Heidelberg; 2017. [cited 2017 Oct 24]. Available from:; 10.11588/heidok.00023252.

Council of Science Editors:

Mollière PM. Modeling of Exoplanet Atmospheres. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Universität Heidelberg; 2017. Available from:; 10.11588/heidok.00023252