Discovering New Worlds

Our astronomers probe the outer reaches of our own planetary system and discover the diversity of extrasolar planets.

Since Carnegie Science astronomer Paul Butler confirmed the existence of the first extrasolar planet orbiting a Sun-like in 1995, scientists have found more than 5,000 planets orbiting stars other than our own.

In recent decades Carnegie Science researchers have also advanced new frontiers in our knowledge of the Solar System, revealing objects at its fringes, as well as new details about the compositions of our closest planetary neighbors.

This research exists at an especially exciting nexus of theoretical astrophysics, observational astronomy, and instrument development. Our astronomers cross disciplinary boundaries and partner with geophysicists to investigate the forces that shape the interiors of distant worlds and understand how these dynamics could affect their potential for habitability. They also partner with engineers and instrument developers to develop new techniques for revealing the atmospheres of distant worlds and their potential for habitability.

Key Questions in Solar System & Exoplanets

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