Special Physics Colloquium: Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 - Getting to know the neighbors: Detecting and characterizing exoplanetary systems with high-contrast imaging and interferometry

Event Date: 

Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 2:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 3302
  • Special Physics Colloquium

High-contrast imaging with ground-based telescopes has led to the discovery and characterization of dozens of giant exoplanets and sub-stellar companions. With improved instrumentation, including adaptive optics, coronagraphs, interferometers, and high-resolution spectrographs, the next generation of exoplanet instruments will find and characterize much larger and more diverse populations. Direct imaging and interferometry is on the path to answering outstanding questions in exoplanet science such as (1) Where, when, and how do planets form?, (2) How diverse are exoplanet atmospheres?, and (3) Does life exist on other worlds? In this talk, I will present plans to leverage current instruments at W.M. Keck Observatory to advance our understanding of planet formation and exoplanet atmospheres, as well as to enhance the capabilities of Keck's instrument suite in the near future. In addition, I will discuss the key technologies needed to enable the first detections of biomarkers in the atmospheres of temperate exoplanets with future ground- and space-based telescopes, such as the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and the Habitable Exoplanet Observatory (HabEx).  

Garreth Ruane, CalTech