Research

I am interested in the formation and evolution of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun.  My team discovers and characterizes these extrasolar planets using telescopes in Hawaii, California, and in space.  I approach this as an observer studying the physical and orbital characteristics of individual planetary systems and the patterns of their ensemble physical properties.  With thousands of planetary systems for comparison, we place our Solar System in a broader context.

I am particularly interested in the diversity of small planets.  Within our Solar System, Neptune and Earth are the archetypal small planets, representing low-density ice giants and high-density rocky planets.  In extrasolar systems we see a much greater diversity of structure and composition owing to broadly varying admixtures of the basic planetary ingredients of hydrogen gas, water, rock, and iron. 

Projects:
Keck Planet Finder (KPF; formerly called SHREK)
K2
TESS - Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite 
Dynamics and Multi-planet Architectures from Kepler
Spectroscopy of Atmospheres of Transiting Planets
The Caiforian-Kepler Survey (CKS)
The California Planet Survey (CPS)
Eta-Earth Survey
Planet Occurrence studies with the Kepler Mission

Support:  
California Institute of Technology
University of Hawaii
NASA
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Heising-Simons Foundation
Keck Foundation
University of California, Berkeley

© Andrew Howard 2017