Our place in the universe: Nick Oberg defends PhD thesis

Last week, Nick Oberg appeared in newspaper NRC with an article about his study of the formation of moons, particularly those of Jupiter. On 5 June, he successfully defended his PhD thesis and obtained the distinction cum laude.

“My thesis is mainly about the formation of Jupiter’s icy moons. They contain oceans of liquid water and are thus interesting, potentially habitable worlds”.

“We want to understand how they formed to see whether or not they are common or rare, whether it was very unique circumstances that created them. To answer questions like: why are they so different from Saturn’s moons? What are they made of? Can we discover moons like these that form around other, new planets (exoplanets)?”


“The JUICE mission (left April 14, 2023 from Europa’s Spaceport in French Guiana, read article here) will give us more detailed information about the formation of moons, their history, properties and structure”.

“We are trying to connect theory (our work) with observations from JUICE. That way we can create a holistic picture, extrapolate this to exoplanets, and use it to plan future missions”.


As a scientist, I want to better understand our place and significance in the universe so that I can show people how to value the world we have. I hope to contribute to its protection, now and in the future”.

Source: TU Delft Intranet, Photo: ESA