Understanding the Universe

Astrophysics seek to understand the universe—and our place in it—by applying the laws of physics and chemistry, and explaining the life cycles of stars, planets, galaxies, and other objects.

Helix Nebula
This composite image is a view of the colorful Helix Nebula taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Mosaic II Camera on the 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

Research in the Institute for Planets and Life (IPL) includes:

  • Search for and characterization of exoplanets with different techniques, including planetary transit and eclipse observations, radial velocity and interferometry, and high-contrast imaging
  • Exoplanetary atmospheres: biomarkers, characterization, and modeling
  • Astrophysics of protoplanetary disks, debris disks, and planetesimal collisions
  • Formation and early evolution of planetary systems
  • Influence of the central star on long-term planet habitability
  • Exploration of our solar system with space missions

Astrophysics Researchers

Christine Chen

Christine Chen
Associate Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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John Debes
Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Steve Lubow

Steve Lubow
Observatory Scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Peter McCullough

Peter McCullough
Associate Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Amaya Moro-Martin

Amaya Moro-Martin
Assistant Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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James Muzerolle
Associate Research Scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Colin Norman

Colin Norman
Professor, Johns Hopkins University

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Marshall Perrin
Associate Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Klaus Pontoppidan

Klaus Pontoppidan
Associate Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Marc Postman

Marc Postman
Distinguished Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Laurent Pueyo

Laurent Pueyo
Associate Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Neill Reid

Neill Reid
Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Kevin Schlaufman

Kevin Schlaufman
Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University

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Joseph Silk

Joseph Silk
Professor, Johns Hopkins University

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David Sing
Professor, Johns Hopkins University

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David Soderblom

David Soderblom
Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Sabine Stanley

Sabine Stanley
Professor, Johns Hopkins University

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Christopher Stark

Christopher Stark
Assistant Scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Kevin Stevenson

Kevin Stevenson
Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Jeff Valenti
Associate Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

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Harold Weaver

Harold A. Weaver Jr.
Research Professor, Johns Hopkins University

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For general questions and information, or to join our mailing list, please contact us:
astrobiology@jhu.edu