Astronomy and Astrophysics

The Astronomy and Astrophysics at DTM concentrates on discovering and understanding extrasolar planets, through pioneering detection studies, observations of their birthplaces, modeling of their formation, and considering the implications for the origin of our own planetary system.

The astrophysics staff and fellows have a diverse range of interests beyond exoplanets, including the search for small bodies in the outer solar system and theoretical models of star formation.

Our Carnegie Fellows are an integral part of the DTM astronomy group and do independent research on the origin and evolution of stars, planets, and life. Our fellows have access to a wide range of facilities. Carnegie operates the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, including the twin 6.5-m Magellan telescopes. Theoretical calculations are performed on the Carnegie Clusters of Intel processors.

Proxima b
An artist’s impression of the planet Proxima b orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth’s sun. Credit M. Kornmesser/European Southern Observatory


Staff Scientists

Alan P. Boss - Theoretical astrophysics; stellar and planetary system formation; extrasolar planets formation and detection

R. Paul Butler - Observational astrophysics; stellar spectroscopy; precision Doppler instrumentation; extrasolar planets; Sun-like stars; supergiants and Cepheid variable stars

John E. Chambers - Planetary formation theory; planetary dynamics; extrasolar planets

Scott S. Sheppard - Small bodies in the solar system including comets, asteroids, satellites, moons, Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud objects; star, planet and solar system formation; brown dwarfs.

Alycia J. Weinberger - Observational astrophysics; planet formation and circumstellar disks; star formation; high angular resolution imaging

Postdoctoral Fellows and Associates

Tri Astraatmadja - Ph.D. Leiden University (2012)

Sergio Dieterich - Ph.D. Georgia State University (2013)

Jessica Donaldson - Ph.D. University of Maryland (2014)

Jonathan Gagné - Ph.D. University of Montreal (2015)

Miki Nakajima - Ph.D. California Institute of Technology (2015)

Erika Nesvold - Ph.D. University of Maryland Baltimore County (2015)

Timothy Rodigas - Ph.D. University of Arizona (2013)

Johanna Teske - Ph.D. University of Arizona (2014)

Sharon Wang - Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University, State College (2016)