Current research group

  • Patrick Fischer, grad student
  • Henry Ngo, grad student
  • Ian Wong, grad student

Current major research projects

  • BOSS

    The Birth of the Solar System project seeks to discover more members of the class of objects like Sedna and to use the dynamical properties of this population to understand birth environment of the sun. Ongoing surveys use the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea and the Dark Energy Camera in Chile. (Brown, Ngo)

  • TAP

    The Trojan Asteroid Populations project is an attempt to understand the formation of the Jupiter trojan asteroids and their connection to other populations in the solar system by looking at the sub-populations within the group. The project uses archival data from large surveys as well as new survey data from the Subaru telescope (Wong, Brown).


    The Exploring Implications of Europa's Internal Ocean project is designed to use massive modern ground based telescopes to understand the chemistry off Europa's internal ocean and its interactions with the surface. (Fischer, Brown)


    Water in the Outer Solar System: Understanding Populations. We are systematically determining the distribution and history of water on multiple populations of small bodies in the outer solar system. Past work has concentrated on the Kuiper belt (see the H/WTSOSS survey, below) and we are now investigating the Jupiter trojans and outer main belt asteroids to attempt to understand dynamical conncetions between the populations. (Brown)

  • H/WTSOSS (pronounced "hot sauce" of course)

    The Hubble/WFC3 Test of Surfaces in the Outer Solar System (H/WTSOSS) is a large survey designed to connect the surfaces of objects in the Kuiper belt with their dynamical history in order to help piece together the early history of the outer solar system. (Fraser, Brown)

  • Dwarf planets

    The discovery of large bodies in the outer solar system over the past few years has led to a revolution in our understanding of the formation and evolution of the distant parts of our planetary environment. The large Kuiper belt objects preserve signatures of run away growth, giant impacts, volatile depletion and retention, and heating and differentiation. We continue to exploit ground and space-based telescopes to study every aspect of these fascinating bodies. (Brown)

Former graduate students, where they've been, where they are

  • Konstantin Batygin

    Ph.D., Planetary Science, 2012
    Harvard Institute for Theory and Computation Fellow
    Professor of Planetary Science, Caltech

  • Meg Schwamb

    Ph.D., Planetary Science, 2010
    NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University
    Academica Sinica Postdoctoral Fellow, Taiwan

  • Darin Raggozine

    Ph.D., Planetary Science, 2009
    Postdoctoral Fellow, CfA
    Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Florida
    Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

  • Emily Schaller

    Ph.D., Planetary Science, 2008
    Hubble Fellow, University of Arizona
    Education Specialist, NASA Airborne Science Program

  • Kris Barkume

    Ph.D., Planetary Science, 2007
    Senior Scientist, Arete Associates

  • Antonin Bouchez

    Ph.D., Planetary Science, 2004
    Keck Observatory
    Palomar Adaptive Optics Lead, Caltech Optical Observatories
    Adaptive Optics Lead, The Carnegie Observatories

  • Adam Burgasser

    Ph.D., Physics, 2001
    Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA
    Spitzer Postdoctoral Fellow, AMNH
    Professor, MIT
    Professor, UCSD

  • Marc Kuchner

    Ph.D. 2000, Astronomy
    Michelson Fellow, CfA
    Hubble Fellow, Princeton University
    Astrophysicist, Goddard Space Flight Center