Renyu Hu

Renyu Hu


Email hury [at] caltech [dot] edu

Phone 617.253.6283

Office 54-1719


2007 - 2009, Tsinghua University, China, M.S. Astrophysics2005 - 2009, Ecole Centrale Paris, France, Diplome d'Ingenieur2003 - 2007, Tsinghua University, China, B.S. Mathematics and Physics


My research focuses on the characterization of terrestrial exoplanets' atmospheres and surfaces. During my PhD I have built a new comprehensive theoretical model of photochemistry and radiative transfer for exploration of exoplanetary atmospheres. I am using the model to identify gases in terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres that are indicative of alien life. I have also pioneered the first theoretical model that outlined how to detect mineral compositions on a bare-rock exoplanet. I am also interested in Mars polar processes. My analysis of data of various Mars orbiters has led to the first observational constraints on the particle size of CO2 snow on the red planet.


NASA Hubble Postdoctoral FellowshipChinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students AbroadThe Barrett Prize, Department of Physics, MITNASA Earth and Space Science FellowshipMIT Presidential FellowshipTsinghua University Best Master DissertationWu You-Xun Prize for Theoretical AstrophysicsAMD Space Science Award


Hu, R., Seager, S., Bains, W. (2013)
Photochemistry in Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres II: H2S and SO2 Photochemistry in Anoxic Atmospheres
ApJ, 769, 6

Hu, R., Seager, S., Bains, W. (2012)
Photochemistry in Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres I: Photochemistry Model and Benchmark Cases
ApJ, 761, 166

Hu, R., Cahoy, K., Zuber, M. T. (2012)
Mars CO2 Condensation Above The North and South Poles Revealed by Radio Occultation, Climate Sounding, and Laser Ranging
Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, E07002

Hu, R., Ehlmann, B. L., Seager, S. (2012)
Theoretical Spectra of Terrestrial Exoplanet Surfaces
ApJ, 752, 7

Hu, R., Zhang, S.-N. (2012)
Quasars' Optical Polarization and Balmer Edge Feature Revealed by Ultra-Violet, and Polarized Visible to Near Infrared Emissions
MNRAS, 426, 2847

Hu, R. (2010)
Transport of the First Rocks of the Solar System by X-winds
ApJ, 725, 1421

Lou, Y.-Q., Hu, R.-Y. (2010)
General polytropic magnetofluid under self-gravity: Voids and shocks
New Astronomy, 15, 198

Hu, R.-Y., Lou, Y.-Q. (2009)
Magnetic massive stars as magnetar progenitors
MNRAS, 396, 878

Hu, R.-Y., Lou, Y.-Q. (2008)
Self-Similar Champagne Flow of Polytropic HII Regions
MNRAS, 390, 1619

Hu., R., Bogdanova, Y. V., Owen, C., Foullon, C., Fazakerley, A. N., R`eme, H. (2008)
Cluster observations of the mid-altitude cusp under strong northward interplanetary magnetic field
J. Geophys. Res., 113, A07S05

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