Keck and Subaru telescopes in the film “Don’t Look Up”

#DontLookUp is a new film on Netflix that shows the observatories where I do my research. At the very beginning there’s a shot of Subaru Observatory and the two Keck Telescopes on the summit of Maunakea at 4km altitude on Hawai`i. This footage was actually captured by an astronomer, Dr.

Our dusty debris disks in National Geographic Magazine

Every now and then it’s nice to see our work show up in National Geographic Magazine. This month’s issue (September 2021) has a full page showing five of the planetary systems that we imaged with the Gemini Planet Imager. In each case the bright host star in the middle is

Interstellar comet Borisov captured with the Hubble Space Telescope

Interstellar comets are those that approach the Sun from interstellar space. They were born in an alien planetary system and kicked out, a phenomenon that is evident by the distorted shapes of dusty disks around young stars such as HD 106906. Here I reduced new Hubble data and produced a

Exiled Exoplanet in the News

This past week was fun as the news outlets covered our paper on the HD 106906 stellar flyby.  I made a 20-second video for YouTube that is approaching 5,000 views.  I also created a longer video to summarize the science in greater detail which has 1,000 views.  Outside of the US, people

Meiji Nguyen’s Poster Wins the AAS Chambliss Award

I was thrilled to learn that Meiji Nguyen‘s AAS poster, which I displayed in an earlier blog post, was awarded a Chambliss medal by the American Astronomical Society.  Meiji obtained his undergraduate degree in astronomy from UC Berkeley and is currently working with us as a gap year student. His

We will miss you Al

I was very sad to learn that my UC Berkeley astronomy colleague Al Glassgold passed away on January 4, 2019. I hope that a complete retrospective on his life and accomplishments is eventually published. Al and I occasionally co-taught an astronomy seminar over the years, and his expertise on

Total Lunar Eclipse Information

For those of you interested in the total lunar eclipse tomorrow, please see the information provided by my colleague Alex Filippenko: This coming Sunday night (January 20/21), there will be a total lunar eclipse (when the Moon goes into Earth’s shadow). Weather permitting, everyone on Earth’s dark (night) side will

Kudos to our team at the American Astronomical Society meeting

I think we had an impressive number of presentations from our Berkeley exoplanets group at last week’s annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in Seattle.  I was bouncing from room to room in the convention center just to catch as many as possible since there were overlapping sessions.

New Year’s Eve and Looking Back at 2018

It’s December 31, 2018, and time to reflect on the year that has passed. I won’t be able to mention everything and everyone but here are just a few notes. Berkeley grad student Jason Wang completed his Ph.D. thesis and went on to a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship at Caltech. Postdoc

Announcing Tokyo for the 2019 Spirit of Lyot meeting

Back in 2007 I conceived of a new type of professional conference aimed at coordinating innovations in both technology and science. I believed that we would not live up to our potential if the experts in the latest technologies and methods were going to SPIE meetings, while the astronomers who

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