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I am a Professor of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and Senior Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Benefiting from my hybrid profile of astronomer-instrumentalist at the frontier of and between science and technologies, I develop, deploy, and scientifically exploit new advanced techniques to perform remote sensing of other worlds with the largest ground-based and space-based optical and infrared telescopes in the world. My group at Caltech and JPL focuses on high contrast imaging and spectroscopy of whole extra-solar planetary systems. Direct imaging of exoplanets fills out parts of the parameter space inaccessible to indirect techniques such as radial velocities and transits. Direct imaging is currently sensitive to long-period giant planets orbiting in the outskirts of planetary systems. Direct detection enables detailed characterization, and  the study planet-disk interactions throughout their co-evolution. Isolating the signal of exoplanets from the glare of their host star allows us to perform the following measurements:

  • Astrometry: measure of exoplanet positions and orbital motions around the host star.
  • Photometry: measure of exoplanet brightnesses and colors, and thus temperature, and some molecular abundances.
  • Spectroscopy: clearly identify molecules in the exoplanet's atmospheres, measure exoplanet spins (length of day), and perform Doppler mapping of their surface.
  • Polarimetry: measure scattering properties of exoplanet atmospheres, teasing the 3D structure of cloud cover and composition. 
© Dimitri Mawet 2017