I am currently a research fellow at ESTEC/ESA
(Noordwijk, The Netherlands). I work on topics related to star & planet formation, planetary atmospheres, and stellar activity using observations from X-ray to infrared wavelengths.
Star & Planet formation
I am particularly interested in the dynamical aspects of star formation. These involve the launching
and evolution of protostellar jets as well as the accretion process.
Both processes are key to the angular momentum evolution of the forming stellar system and therefore
related to virtually all aspects of the stellar system including the conditions for planet formation. I use
high resolution (spatial/spectral) data to advance our understanding of these integral ingredrients of
the star formation process.
Planets orbiting in close proximity of their host star experience highly elevated levels of high
energy radiation. This strongly modifies their atmospheric structure compared to solar system
planets leading, e.g., to expanded atmospheres that can be measured with Lya transit observations.
I am interested in understanding the effect of the high energy radiation on planetary atmospheres
using observations and simulations.
Low-mass stars pocess an internal dynamo resulting in a reasonably strong stellar magnetic field.
While the solar dynamo is well established, the situation is very different for distant stars.
One particularly new, interesting feature of stellar activity are super flares, i.e., eruptive
events in stellar coronae that strongly increase the energy output within seconds to minutes. How these
events are related to the underlying stellar magnetic field are currently unclear and we use
X-ray observations to further study these phenomena.
- Protostellar jets
- Star formation
- Planetary atmospheres
- Stellar activity
- High-energy astrophysics
- Hubble Space Telescope
- Chandra X-ray observatory
- VLT near-IR spectroscopy
- Integral field spectroscopy
I am also involved in the developement of PyAstronomy
, a collection of astronomy related python packages.