Skip to main content

Soren Meibom

Center for Astrophysics
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Research Associate


Soren Meibom is an observational astronomer who's research has been based primarily on time-series spectroscopic observations from the ground and time-series photometric observations from the ground and from space, in star clusters. Soren’s spectroscopic observations determine precise radial-velocity measurements to measure membership, binarity and binary orbits of stars in clusters. His photometric observations measure stellar rotation periods and detect planetary transits and eclipsing binary stars in the same clusters. Soren’s observational work has lead to contributions in the fields of single and binary star angular momentum evolution, stellar age determination (Gyrochronology), and the formation and evolution of planets in star clusters. As the Principal Investigator for the Kepler Cluster Study (KeCS) - an integral part of NASA’s Kepler mission - Soren lead teams that found the first and smallest transiting exoplanets in open star clusters, and extended and refined the empirical relationship between stellar rotation and stellar age. His work addresses fundamentally important questions in stellar and exoplanet research. For example: 1) What is the effect of the stellar environment in clusters on planet formation and evolution? 2) How old are the planets we find and study? His work to establish stellar rotation as a precise indicator of stellar age is also fundamental to understanding the time-evolution of all astronomical phenomena related to stars and their companions. Soren worked as part of the science team for NASA’s Kepler mission, and as an invited chair of NASA’s TESS Open Cluster Survey lead an international working group in the effort to ensure observations by TESS of thousands of stars in nearby open clusters to support a wide range of science goals.