St Cross Junior Research Fellow Dr Tim Lichtenberg has been awarded the Royal Astronomical Society’s Winton Award for Early Achievement in Geophysics for his work on understanding the growth and long-term evolution of rocky planets.
His work has forged a novel link between the star-forming environment of young planetary systems and the volatile bulk composition of the resulting planets. It explains key characteristics of our own Solar System such as core formation chronology and the distribution of volatile elements. His work is also providing vital insight into the science of rocky extra-solar planets.
You can read more about Tim's previous work on the formation of the Solar System here and on the exoplanetary systems here.
Dr Lichtenberg’s latest research is making strides towards generalising our understanding of the magma ocean phase and the subsequent post-crystallisation climate states of rocky planets. He is an integral part of a team that provided evidence of tectonic activity on an exoplanet; this research suggests that the geodynamic regime of Super-Earths differs from any known object in the Solar System. These advances are critical for understanding the mantle and atmospheric composition of the terrestrial planets within the diverse population of exoplanets.
Our congratulations to Tim on his well-deserved achievement!
Header image: Mark A. Garlick