Understanding the Universe

Astrophysics seek to understand the universe—and our place in it—by applying the laws of physics and chemistry, and explaining the life cycles of stars, planets, galaxies, and other objects.

Helix Nebula
This composite image is a view of the colorful Helix Nebula taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Mosaic II Camera on the 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

Research in the Institute for Planets and Life (IPL) includes:

  • Search for and characterization of exoplanets with different techniques, including planetary transit and eclipse observations, radial velocity and interferometry, and high-contrast imaging
  • Exoplanetary atmospheres: biomarkers, characterization, and modeling
  • Astrophysics of protoplanetary disks, debris disks, and planetesimal collisions
  • Formation and early evolution of planetary systems
  • Influence of the central star on long-term planet habitability
  • Exploration of our solar system with space missions

Astrophysics Researchers

Christine Chen
Associate Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
John Debes
Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Steve Lubow
Observatory Scientist Space Telescope Science Institute
Peter McCullough
Associate Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Amaya Moro-Martin
Assistant Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
James Muzerolle
Associate Research Scientist Space Telescope Science Institute
Colin Norman
Professor Johns Hopkins University
Marshall Perrin
Associate Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Klaus Pontoppidan
Associate Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Marc Postman
Distinguished Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Laurent Pueyo
Associate Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Neill Reid
Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Kevin Schlaufman
Assistant Professor Johns Hopkins University
Joseph Silk
Professor Johns Hopkins University
David Sing
Professor Johns Hopkins University
David Soderblom
Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Sabine Stanley
Professor Johns Hopkins University
Christopher Stark
Assistant Scientist Space Telescope Science Institute
Kevin Stevenson
Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Jeff Valenti
Associate Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute
Harold A. Weaver Jr.
Research Professor, Johns Hopkins University

For general questions and information, or to join our mailing list, please contact us:
astrobiology@jhu.edu