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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


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