About the Extrasolar Planetary Systems Imaging Group

We are two dozen plus staff astronomers, postdocs, and grad students at STScI and Johns Hopkins University, working together on 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’re involved in a wide range of observational programs using Hubble and major ground based telescopes such as Gemini and Palomar.  Our group has played a major role in developing the Gemini Planet Imager instrument at Gemini South, and Project 1640 at Palomar, as well as prior high contrast efforts such as the Lyot Project and JHU Adaptive Optics Coronagraphs. 

Group members have a wide variety of roles in the JWST and WFIRST 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.