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Extrasolar Planetary Systems Imaging Group (EPSIG) / High Contrast Research Group

Artist rendition of the directly imaged beta Pictoris b giant gaseous planet (Credit: ESO/L. Calçada)

We are staff astronomers and scientists, postdocs, and grad students at STScI and Johns Hopkins University, working together on high contrast imaging and spectroscopy of nearby planetary systems.  We're interested in questions such as:

  • How do planetary systems form and evolve? 
  • What are the atmospheres and compositions of extrasolar planets like?  
  • How common are Earth-like worlds? 
  • What technologies do we need to develop in able to detect new planets and search for biosignatures?

We are involved in a wide range of observational programs using Hubble and major space and ground based telescopes. Our group has played a major role in developing the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) instrument at Gemini South.

Group members have a wide variety of roles in the JWST, Roman and LUVOIR missions, preparing to operate these telescopes and their coronagraphs. We also operate a state-of-the-art optics lab where we are developing new wavefront control methods for ultra-high-contrast imaging with future large segmented space telescopes.

Website: STScI Extrasolar Planetary Systems Imaging Group

Leads: Christine Chen, John Debes, Julien Girard, Marshall Perrin, Laurent Pueyo, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Remi Soummer

Research Topics:

  • Exoplanets
  • High Contrast Imaging
  • Adaptive Optics
  • Coronagraphs
  • Exoplanet Characterization
  • Brown Dwarfs
  • Circumstellar Disks
  • Multiple Stars
  • Instrumentation
  • Wavefront Sensing and Control
  • Interferometry

Seminars/Journal Club: ESPF series

Conference & Symposia: STScI 2021 Spring (Exoplanets) SymposiumChesapeake Bay Area Exoplanet Meeting (ChExo)

Related Missions & Instruments: HST, JWST, GPI, SPHERE, MUSE, GRAVITY, Roman-CGI, LUVOIR

Related Lab: Makidon Lab, HiCAT

Related Programs: HST ALICE, GPI GPIES, ExoGRAVITY, SPHERE SHINE, ExoCTK, NACO ISPY, JWST GTO/ERS, Roman Macintosh and Turnbull SITs

Community Engagement: Roman Exoplanet Imaging Data Challenge

Selected Publications: ADS library