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Interview with Andreas Bartenschlager

  • Please introduce yourself

I am Andreas Bartenschlager and I come from near Augsburg in Bavaria. 

  • What institution do you work for?

Since March of this year [2022], I have been a PhD student at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology in the department for meteorology and climate research, in the sub-department for atmospheric trace gases and remote sensing. 

  • What was your career?

I studied physics at the LMU in Munich, both bachelor and master. During my bachelor studies, I focussed on astrophysics and during my master my focus was atmospheres. Combining both astrophysics and atmospheric physics led to the topic of exoplanets. 

  • What is your research topic?

Using a computer model, we in Karlsruhe  try to investigate the influence of cosmic radiation and stellar storms on the composition of the atmosphere. We use a model in cooperation with the DLR in Berlin and the Kiel University, who provide data for it. 

  • What scientific question(s) do you seek to answer?

In particular, I want to see the influence of cosmic radiation on the atmosphere with regards to the ion chemistry, and how that influences the neutral composition, which later can be used to calculate transmission spectra, which are observable via the James Webb telescope. 

  • Why did you choose this topic?

This is exciting because there are many planets in the universe, with a broad range of atmospheric compositions, be it Venus, Mars, or far-off exoplanets. That, combined with the combination of atmospheric physics and astrophysics, is what draws me to the topic. 

  • Where do you see connections between your topic and other fields of research?

I would see connections in that you can do this in combination with geosciences, meaning how the exoplanets’ geophysics interacts with their atmosphere; or, on the other hand, with heliophysics, that is the influence of the sun or the central star on the upper atmosphere of exoplanets. 

  • Which SPP offers did you make use of?

Up to now, I have participated in the priority program’s seminar talks, and this meeting [PFE-SPP1992 joint meeting 2022 in Berlin] is my first conference with in-person attendance. Before this, it was all online conferences, and relatively small ones at that, so this is the first larger conference I am part of. 

  • Could the SPP support your research?

Totally, there are overlaps to other priority projects, that I could use in future, to build a better network.

  • What might we know about your topics in 10 years?

Well, I suppose in 10 years more exoplanets will have been found, ones with very different atmospheres, and their specific compositions, which we can now verify due to the start of James Webb. 

  • What are your hobbies outside of science?

I like to play football in my home village; it may just be a small club, but right now it is going quite well and let’s see where that goes.  

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