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Modelling Planetary Atmospheres with NEMESIS

Patrick Irwin, Joanna Barstow

  • Project Description:

    In this project, the student will use the radiative transfer code, NEMESIS, to predict the likely observed spectra of different classes of exoplanets. The aim of the project is to understand how the spectra of different classes of exoplanets are formed, how they are modelled and how they may be detected in primary and secondary transit geometries. The problem of inverting transit spectra to infer atmospheric properties will also be explored.

    A familiarity with Unix systems and IDL would be highly desirable.

  • Recommended Reading:

    Irwin, P.G.J., N.A. Teanby, R. de Kok, L.N. Fletcher, C.J.A. Howett, C.C.C. Tsang, C.F. Wilson, S.B. Calcutt, C.A. Nixon, P.D. Parrish, The NEMESIS planetary atmosphere radiative transfer and retrieval tool, J. Quant. Spectrosc. and Rad. Trans., 109 , 1136 – 1150, 2008.

    Lee, J.-M., Fletcher, L.N., Irwin, P.G.J. 2011. Optimal Estimation Retrievals of the Atmospheric Structure and Composition of HD 189733b from Secondary Eclipse Spectroscopy. MNRAS, 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.20013.x.

  • Software: If you are using a Windows laptop, you'll need an ssh/X client and also an ftp client. Good free clients can be found online:

Putty - ssh client -

Xming - x-forwarding -

WinSCP - scp/ftp file access -

  • Data:
Topic revision: r4 - 02 Mar 2012, JoBarstow
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