PTYS/LPL Faculty

Kuiper 428

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Sukrit Ranjan (he/him)

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., 2017, Harvard University

Years with LPL: 2022-present

Astrobiology, Earth, Early Earth, Exoplanets; Planetary Formation and Evolution, Origin of Life, Planetary Atmospheres, Photochemistry, Theoretical Astrophysics

I am a theorist and modeler focused on questions related to the origin of life on Earth and the search for life on other worlds. These questions are coupled: efforts to understand the origin of life on Earth helps guide our search for it elsewhere in the cosmos, while observations of other planets help us test our theories of the prebiotic environment and of abiogenesis. To understand abiogenesis, I work to constraining the palette of environmental conditions from which life arose on Earth, to constrain and guide experimental studies of the origin of life. To search for life elsewhere, I work to determine observational tests by which life on other worlds may be remotely discriminated. In collaboration with my experimental colleagues, I work to obtain the critical measurements of fundamental physico-chemical parameters required to build robust models in support of both goals.

I completed my PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics at Harvard University, followed by a SCOL postdoctoral fellowship at MIT EAPS and a CIERA postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern. I completed my undergraduate work at MIT, where I majored in physics and minored in astronomy and history.

Current Grants

  • NASA Exoplanets Research Program, “Experimental Constraints for Improving Terrestrial Exoplanet Pho-
    tochemical Models (ExCITE-PM)”, Science PI, 2021
  • HST Guest Observer Program, “Chromosopheric and Coronal Activity in the Lowest-Mass Stars”, Co-I, 2020

Based on Google Scholar and NASA ADS: NASA ADS Author search: Sukrit Ranjan

Recent refereed publications (NASA ADS): Years 2019 through June 2022

Jingcheng Huang, Sara Seager, Janusz J. Petkowski, Zhuchang Zhan, Sukrit Ranjan 2022, The Astrophysical Journal. Methanol—A Poor Biosignature Gas in Exoplanet Atmospheres

Greaves, Jane S., Rimmer, Paul B., Richards, Anita M. S., Petkowski, Janusz J., Bains, William, Ranjan, Sukrit, Seager, Sara, Clements, David L. Silva, Clara Sousa, Fraser, Helen J. 2022, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Low levels of sulphur dioxide contamination of Venusian phosphine spectra

Zhan, Zhuchang, Huang, Jingcheng, Seager, Sara, Petkowski, Janusz J., & Ranjan, Sukrit 2022, The Astrophysical Journal. Organic Carbonyls Are Poor Biosignature Gases in Exoplanet Atmospheres but May Generate Significant CO

Ranjan, Sukrit, Seager, Sara, Zhan, Zhuchang, Koll, Daniel D. B., Bains, William, Petkowski, Janusz J., Huang, Jingcheng, & Lin, Zifan 2022, The Astrophysical Journal. Photochemical Runaway in Exoplanet Atmospheres: Implications for Biosignatures

Glidden, Ana, Seager, Sara, Huang, Jingcheng, Petkowski, Janusz J., & Ranjan, Sukrit 2022, The Astrophysical Journal. Can Carbon Fractionation Provide Evidence for Aerial Biospheres in the Atmospheres of Temperate Sub-Neptunes?

Ranjan, Sukrit, Kufner, Corinna L., Lozano, Gabriella G., Todd, Zoe R., Haseki, Azra, & Sasselov, Dimitar D. 2022, Astrobiology. UV Transmission in Natural Waters on Prebiotic Earth

Bains, William, Shorttle, Oliver, Ranjan, Sukrit, Rimmer, Paul B., Petkowski, Janusz J., Greaves, Jane S., & Seager, Sara 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Only extraordinary volcanism can explain the presence of parts per billion phosphine on Venus

Huang, Jingcheng, Seager, Sara, Petkowski, Janusz J., Ranjan, Sukrit, & Zhan, Zhuchang 2022, Astrobiology. Assessment of Ammonia as a Biosignature Gas in Exoplanet Atmospheres

Bains, William, Shorttle, Oliver, Ranjan, Sukrit, Rimmer, Paul B., Petkowski, Janusz J., Greaves, Jane S., & Seager, Sara 2022, Universe. Constraints on the Production of Phosphine by Venusian Volcanoes

Lin, Zifan, Seager, Sara, Ranjan, Sukrit, Kozakis, Thea, & Kaltenegger, Lisa 2022, The Astrophysical Journal. H<SUB>2</SUB>-dominated Atmosphere as an Indicator of Second-generation Rocky White Dwarf Exoplanets

Suming An, Sukrit Ranjan, Kaijun Yuan, Xueming Yang, Rex T. Skodje 2021, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. The role of the three body photodissociation channel of water in the evolution of dioxygen in astrophysical applications

Bains, William, Petkowski, Janusz J., Seager, Sara, Ranjan, Sukrit, Sousa-Silva, Clara, Rimmer, Paul B., Zhan, Zhuchang, Greaves, Jane S., & Richards, Anita M. S. 2021, Astrobiology. Phosphine on Venus Cannot Be Explained by Conventional Processes

Seager, Sara, Petkowski, Janusz J., Gao, Peter, Bains, William, Bryan, Noelle C., Ranjan, Sukrit, & Greaves, Jane 2021, Astrobiology. The Venusian Lower Atmosphere Haze as a Depot for Desiccated Microbial Life: A Proposed Life Cycle for Persistence of the Venusian Aerial Biosphere

Rimmer, Paul B., Ranjan, Sukrit, & Rugheimer, Sarah 2021, Elements. Life's Origins and the Search for Life on Rocky Exoplanets

Zhan, Zhuchang, Seager, Sara, Petkowski, Janusz Jurand, Sousa-Silva, Clara, Ranjan, Sukrit, Huang, Jingcheng, & Bains, William 2021, Astrobiology. Assessment of Isoprene as a Possible Biosignature Gas in Exoplanets with Anoxic Atmospheres

Greaves, Jane S., Richards, Anita M. S., Bains, William, Rimmer, Paul B., Sagawa, Hideo, Clements, David L., Seager, Sara, Petkowski, Janusz J., Sousa-Silva, Clara, Ranjan, Sukrit, Drabek-Maunder, Emily, Fraser, Helen J., Cartwright, Annabel, Mueller-Wodarg, Ingo, Zhan, Zhuchang, Friberg, Per, Coulson, Iain, Lee, E'lisa, & Hoge, Jim 2021, Nature Astronomy. Addendum: Phosphine gas in the cloud deck of Venus

Greaves, Jane S., Richards, Anita M. S., Bains, William, Rimmer, Paul B., Sagawa, Hideo, Clements, David L., Seager, Sara, Petkowski, Janusz J., Sousa-Silva, Clara, Ranjan, Sukrit, Drabek-Maunder, Emily, Fraser, Helen J., Cartwright, Annabel, Mueller-Wodarg, Ingo, Zhan, Zhuchang, Friberg, Per, Coulson, Iain, Lee, E'lisa, & Hoge, Jim 2021, Nature Astronomy. Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus

Greaves, Jane S., Richards, Anita M. S., Bains, William, Rimmer, Paul B., Clements, David L., Seager, Sara, Petkowski, Janusz J., Sousa-Silva, Clara, Ranjan, Sukrit, & Fraser, Helen J. 2021, Nature Astronomy. Reply to: No evidence of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus from independent analyses

Todd, Zoe R., Fahrenbach, Albert C., Ranjan, Sukrit, Magnani, Christopher J., Szostak, Jack W., & Sasselov, Dimitar D. 2020, Astrobiology. Ultraviolet-Driven Deamination of Cytidine Ribonucleotides Under Planetary Conditions

Ranjan, Sukrit, Schwieterman, Edward W., Harman, Chester, Fateev, Alexander, Sousa-Silva, Clara, Seager, Sara, & Hu, Renyu 2020, The Astrophysical Journal. Photochemistry of Anoxic Abiotic Habitable Planet Atmospheres: Impact of New H<SUB>2</SUB>O Cross Sections

Sousa-Silva, Clara, Seager, Sara, Ranjan, Sukrit, Petkowski, Janusz Jurand, Zhan, Zhuchang, Hu, Renyu, & Bains, William 2020, Astrobiology. Phosphine as a Biosignature Gas in Exoplanet Atmospheres

Günther, Maximilian N., Zhan, Zhuchang, Seager, Sara, Rimmer, Paul B., Ranjan, Sukrit, Stassun, Keivan G., Oelkers, Ryan J., Daylan, Tansu, Newton, Elisabeth, Kristiansen, Martti H., Olah, Katalin, Gillen, Edward, Rappaport, Saul, Ricker, George R., Vanderspek, Roland K., Latham, David W., Winn, Joshua N., Jenkins, Jon M., Glidden, Ana, Fausnaugh, Michael, Levine, Alan M., Dittmann, Jason A., Quinn, Samuel N., Krishnamurthy, Akshata, & Ting, Eric B. 2020, The Astronomical Journal. Stellar Flares from the First TESS Data Release: Exploring a New Sample of M Dwarfs

Ranjan, Sukrit, Todd, Zoe R., Rimmer, Paul B., Sasselov, Dimitar D., & Babbin, Andrew R. 2019, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. Nitrogen Oxide Concentrations in Natural Waters on Early Earth

Ranjan, Sukrit, Todd, Zoe R., Sutherland, John D., & Sasselov, Dimitar D. 2018, Astrobiology. Sulfidic Anion Concentrations on Early Earth for Surficial Origins-of-Life Chemistry

Ranjan, Sukrit, Wordsworth, Robin, & Sasselov, Dimitar D. 2017, Astrobiology. Atmospheric Constraints on the Surface UV Environment of Mars at 3.9 Ga Relevant to Prebiotic Chemistry

Ranjan, Sukrit, Wordsworth, Robin, & Sasselov, Dimitar D. 2017, The Astrophysical Journal. The Surface UV Environment on Planets Orbiting M Dwarfs: Implications for Prebiotic Chemistry and the Need for Experimental Follow-up

Ranjan, Sukrit & Sasselov, Dimitar D. 2017, Astrobiology. Constraints on the Early Terrestrial Surface UV Environment Relevant to Prebiotic Chemistry

Ranjan, Sukrit 2017, Ph.D. Thesis. The UV environment for prebiotic chemistry

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Last updated on November 18, 2022