Klaus Pontoppidan


I am an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) located in Baltimore, Maryland. I am interested in the formation of planets and the origin of our own Solar System. One particularly exciting question is how common the ingredients for life are (such as water) and whether they naturally evolve as part of new planets. You can read more about my research elsewhere on these pages.

I am also part of the James Webb Space Telescope team at STScI, who will operate the telescope once it is launched. I work as an instrument scientist on NIRSpec (near-infrared spectrograph), as well as on MIRI (mid-infrared spectrograph). JWST is the scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and will be the largest telescope ever put unto space. Its four instruments operate primarily at infrared wavelengths (1-28 micrometers) allowing it to spot the most distant galaxies in the Universe, dust and molecular gas around young stars in the process of making their own planetary systems, and, not least, to characterize the atmospheres of mature exoplanets. The telescope will produce spectacular images with far more detail than ever before, worthy of the legacy of the mighty Hubble Space Telescope. 


Associate Astronomer

Space Telescope Science Institute

3700 San Martin Drive

Baltimore, MD 21218

Office phone: +1 410 338 4744

email: pontoppi at stsci.edu