Extrasolar planet Search (Direct imaging) & Atmosphere modelling:

Using a radiative transfer and climate models developed at the CfA and elsewhere, we model Earth and extrasolar planet atmospheres and their spectra to identify spectral fingerprints which may characterize these worlds. This work is fundamental to upcoming projects that will observe photons from extrasolar planets directly from space or from the ground, (e.g. JWST, Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin)

Press Release on Earth's spectral fingerprints over time.

Extrasolar planet Transit Search & The Kepler Science Team CfA is playing a major role in NASA's Kepler mission to search for habitable earth-like planets by looking for transiting systems. CfA scientists are responsible for preparing the Kepler Input Catalog for the selection of targets, and for follow-up observations to confirm and characterize planetary systems.

OIR scientists are actively involved in follow-up observations of transiting-planet candidates identified by ground-based photometric surveys such as OGLE, Vulcan, TrES, HAT, and KELT, Spectroscopy is used to sort out stellar systems masquerading as transiting planets and to derive spectroscopic orbits for mass determinations. Photometry with KeplerCam is used to derive high-quality light curves for accurate determinations of planet size.


Extrasolar planet Search (Direct imaging) & Atmosphere modelling:
Lisa Kaltenegger, Volker Tolls , Wesley Traub (JPL/CfA)

Extrasolar planet Transit Search & Kepler

Members of the Kepler Science Team:
Andrea Dupree, John Geary, David Latham, Dimitar Sasselov

Participating scientists OIR:
Gilbert Esquerdo, David Latham, Soren Meibom, Guillermo Torres, Robert Stefanik, Thomas Beatty, Gabor Furesz

Graduate students