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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


  Clàudia Janó Muñoz,


  Physics, Hughes Hall

  Research interests:
  1. The search for life in the Universe.
  2. The search for Earth-like planets in our galaxy.
  3. New instrumentation to study exoplanets.
                                4. Formation and evolution of planetary systems.

My PhD focuses on the search for exoplanets, which are planets around stars other than the Sun. It involves analysing data from telescopes to study the faintest and coldest stars in the galaxy, looking for planets orbiting them. These planets are too small and faint to be seen directly. Instead, we observe their host stars and wait for them to cross between the star and Earth, blocking the starlight. From the amount of light blocked we can learn about their properties such as their size and what they might be made of, including whether they can hold liquid water.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your research interests?
I was inspired to pursue research in astrophysics by books and documentaries about the outer space I would read and watch as a child.  The interest remained until my time at university, where I decided to pursue a career in research. I am still really inspired by astrophysicists around the world who dedicate their lives to discovering and understanding the Universe.