For centuries, the idea of worlds around other stars lived in the realms of philosophy and science fiction. Then about three decades ago, technological advancement aligned with some of mankind's oldest and most compelling questions to give birth to exoplanet science. Today we are counting these distant planets in the thousands, and starting to probe their habitability. But at the edge of our scientific capability, the existential questions remain.
Are there other Earths out there?
Are we alone?
The gravitational pull of orbiting planets causes stars to "wobble" in space. The smaller the planet, the smaller the wobble it imparts. For example, the Earth perturbs the Sun by only 10cm/s.
I am part of multiple groups that are building instruments to measure these incredibly small signatures in starlight created by Earth-like planets. We call this "extreme precision spectroscopy".
I am an instrument scientist for JWST at STScI. JWST is NASA's upcoming flagship mission, and will be the largest, most powerful telescope ever launched into space. I am working on the commissioning of the NIRISS instrument, and exoplanet science with JWST.
I am the Project Scientist and Data Pipeline Lead for KPF. Combining large aperture and extreme precision, KPF will be an ultra-stable spectrograph on the 10m Keck-I telescope in Hawaii. KPF is scheduled for delivery in mid-2022 with science commencement by 2023.
I am an architect of NEID. The centerpiece of a NASA-NSF collaboration, NEID is an extreme precision optical spectrograph on the 3.5m WIYN telescope in Arizona. Having recently passed Operations Readiness Review, NEID is now available for science through NOIRLab.
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