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Reference : UMR8109-SYLDES-025
Workplace : MEUDON
Date of publication : Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Anne-Marie LAGRANGE
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Description of the thesis topic
The detection and the characterisation of extrasolar systems in direct imaging is a major goal of modern astrophysics. In our project COBREX (COupling data and techniques for BReakthroughs in EXoplanetary systems exploration) funded by a European Research Grant (ERC), we will use new algorithms to analyse high contrast imaging data from archive and future observations, so as to significantly push the current detection limits. Our aim is, in particular, to image a large sample of circumstellar discs: either young planet-forming discs for which detailed surface brightness analysis is still missing, and debris discs surrounding fully formed planetary systems for which the planet-disc interactions can be studied. For some of those discs, the scattering properties can be extracted to constrain the physics of the dust particles.
To fulfil these objectives, you will lead an ambitious reduction and analysis program from the SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), developing new techniques tailored for discs.
-Development and tests of new high-contrast imaging algorithms tailored for discs. This includes tools based on artificial intelligence adapted for high-contrast imaging in order to fully benefit from the large database of images available since the beginning of the operations of SPHERE.
-Application of those algorithms for the detection of new discs.
-Data interpretation: study of individual systems, characterisation of the discs (morphology, surface brightness, asymmetry, scattering properties), statistical study, implication for planet formation processes.
-High contrast imaging observations with the VLT at ESO, JWST, etc
The first year of the PhD will be held at IPAG (Grenoble) where the data will be analysed. The last two years will be held at LESIA, Observatoire de Paris. The PhD will be working within a team of astronomers and engineers for the project.
The PhD will participate to observations to complete the available, archival data, in particular with ESO's telescopes and with JWST.
Constraints and risks
-Bachelor's and master's degree in physics, astrophysics, planetary sciences or equivalent.
-Knowledges in algorithms development and computation. Languages: python (desired)
-Values : enthusiasm, commitment, autonomy, open-mindedness, creativity, team spirit.
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