12 Sep 2016

ExoMol database update

The ExoMol project provides extensive molecule line lists (lists of transition frequencies and associated Einstein A coefficients) for use in studies of  exoplanet and other hot atmospheres.
The ExoMol database has undergone a major upgrade providing both more comprehensive sets of data, ie more molecules, and a richer set of data, ie more features. The newly implemented data structure augments the provision of energy levels (and hence transition frequencies) and Einstein A coefficients with other key properties, including pressure-broadening parameters, lifetimes of individual states, temperature-dependent cooling functions, Landé g-factors, partition functions, cross sections, k-coefficients and transition dipoles with phase relations. Particular attention has been paid to the treatment of pressure broadening parameters. The new data structure includes a definition file which provides the necessary information for utilities accessing ExoMol through its application programming interface (API).

This new upgrade is fully documented in a recently published article (Tennyson et al., 2016, J. Molec. Spectrosc. 327, 73 and also on arXiv).
We welcome comments, feedback and suggestions for improvements and new molecules.

07 Jul 2016

ORBYTS Closing Ceremony

ORBYTS has been a fantastic pilot program in which high-school students have played a vital role in the collation and processing of spectroscopic data for C2H2, CH4 and TiO. Our new line lists for these molecules will have these students to thank! Look out for the upcoming Marvel papers with this research.

The ORBYTS Closing Ceremony will take place on July 11th: everyone is welcome, but please sign up at!

On the 11th July, there will be an official ORBYTS (Original Research By Young Twinkle Students) Closing Ceremony, where secondary school students will give presentations about their research in collaboration with UCL PhD students.

Orbyts Graduation Ceremony

Organised by Dr Clara Sousa-Silva (recent UCL PhD graduate, now part of the Researchers In Schools program), ORBYTS links UCL Physics & Astronomy PhD students and post-doc scientists with groups of secondary school students. Together they perform original research associated with Twinkle, a UCL-led space mission that will be launched in 2019 to study the atmospheres of other planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy.

Three group leaders from UCL Physics & astronomy, Dr Laura McKemmish and PhD students Emma Barton and Katy Chubb each have a team of 4-6 Year 12 and 13 students from Highams Park School. These students are working with them to produce original research on the energy levels and spectroscopy of three different small molecules. Each of these small molecules is important in exoplanetary environments (such as working with hot Jupiters or eventually detecting life) which is crucial preparation for the Twinkle mission. The work the students are doing will be part of peer-reviewed journal publications in the near future.

The ORBYTS project has a significant number of female participants and is an excellent example of encouraging women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This initiative is also a key component of the Twinkle Space Mission which has equal gender representation at the top level.

04 Jul 2016

Summary of ExoMol software: Duo, DVR3D & Trove

Excellent resource reviewing all the ExoMol software:

The ExoMol project: Software for computing large molecular line list

29 Jun 2016

ExoMol in the news!

ExoMol's database of molecular lines has been highlighted by

New database of molecular line lists lifts the veil on the composition of exoplanet atmospheres

Excellent Q&A session with Jonathan talking about the importance of the ExoMol database.

03 Jun 2016

ExoMol staring at UCL Inaugural Phys FilmMakers screening event

ExoMol is one of four research groups that are being highlighted at the UCL Inaugural Phys FilmMakers screening event on June 7th at 2pm, UCL Wilkins South Cloisters.

04 Jan 2016

Interview with ExoMol's Alec Owens in The Guardian

Alec from ExoMol talks about life as a PhD student: My PhD takes me into a world of space molecules and alien fart jokes.

For older news, visit the News Archive