Geoffrey W. Marcy

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States

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Publications (299)1762.32 Total impact

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    Lauren M. Weiss, Geoffrey W. Marcy
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    ABSTRACT: We study the masses and radii of 65 exoplanets smaller than 4 R ⊕ with orbital periods shorter than 100 days. We calculate the weighted mean densities of planets in bins of 0.5 R ⊕ and identify a density maximum of 7.6 g cm–3 at 1.4 R ⊕. On average, planets with radii up to R P = 1.5 R ⊕ increase in density with increasing radius. Above 1.5 R ⊕, the average planet density rapidly decreases with increasing radius, indicating that these planets have a large fraction of volatiles by volume overlying a rocky core. Including the solar system terrestrial planets with the exoplanets below 1.5 R ⊕, we find ρP = 2.43 + 3.39(R P/R ⊕) g cm–3 for R P < 1.5 R ⊕, which is consistent with rocky compositions. For 1.5 ≤ R P/R ⊕ < 4, we find M P/M ⊕ = 2.69(R P/R ⊕)0.93. The rms of planet masses to the fit between 1.5 and 4 R ⊕ is 4.3 M ⊕ with reduced χ2 = 6.2. The large scatter indicates a diversity in planet composition at a given radius. The compositional diversity can be due to planets of a given volume (as determined by their large H/He envelopes) containing rocky cores of different masses or compositions.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 12/2014; 783(1):L6. · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of a low-mass planet orbiting Gl 15 A based on radial velocities from the Eta-Earth Survey using HIRES at Keck Observatory. Gl 15 Ab is a planet with minimum mass Msini = 5.35 $\pm$ 0.75 M$_\oplus$, orbital period P = 11.4433 $\pm$ 0.0016 days, and an orbit that is consistent with circular. We characterize the host star using a variety of techniques. Photometric observations at Fairborn Observatory show no evidence for rotational modulation of spots at the orbital period to a limit of ~0.1 mmag, thus supporting the existence of the planet. We detect a second RV signal with a period of 44 days that we attribute to rotational modulation of stellar surface features, as confirmed by optical photometry and the Ca II H & K activity indicator. Using infrared spectroscopy from Palomar-TripleSpec, we measure an M2 V spectral type and a sub-solar metallicity ([M/H] = -0.22, [Fe/H] = -0.32). We measure a stellar radius of 0.3863 $\pm$ 0.0021 R$_\odot$ based on interferometry from CHARA.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2014; 794(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report initial results from our long term search using precision radial velocities for planetary-mass companions located within a few AU of stars younger than the Sun. Based on a sample of >150 stars, we define a floor in the radial velocity scatter, sigma_RV, as a function of the chromospheric activity level R'_{HK}. This lower bound to the jitter, which increases with increasing stellar activity, sets the minimum planet mass that could be detected. Adopting a median activity-age relationship reveals the astrophysical limits to planet masses discernable via radial velocity monitoring, as a function of stellar age. Considering solar-mass primaries having the mean jitter-activity level, when they are younger than 100 / 300 / 1000 Myr, the stochastic jitter component in radial velocity measurements restricts detectable companion masses to > 0.3 / 0.2 / 0.1 M_Jupiter. These numbers require a large number -- several tens -- of radial velocity observations taken over a time frame longer than the orbital period. Lower companion mass limits can be achieved for stars with less than the mean jitter and/or with an increased number of observations.
    08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We are designing and constructing a new SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) instrument to search for direct evidence of interstellar communications via pulsed laser signals at near-infrared wavelengths. The new instrument design builds upon our past optical SETI experiences, and is the first step toward a new, more versatile and sophisticated generation of very fast optical and near-infrared pulse search devices. We present our instrumental design by giving an overview of the opto-mechanical design, detector selection and characterization, signal processing, and integration procedure. This project makes use of near-infrared (950-1650 nm) discrete amplification Avalanche Photodiodes (APD) that have greater than 1 GHz bandwidths with low noise characteristics and moderate gain (~10^4). We have investigated the use of single versus multiple detectors in our instrument (see Maire et al., this conference), and have optimized the system to have both high sensitivity and low false coincidence rates. Our design is optimized for use behind a 1m telescope and includes an optical camera for acquisition and guiding. A goal is to make our instrument relatively economical and easy to duplicate. We describe our observational setup and our initial search strategies for SETI targets, and for potential interesting compact astrophysical objects.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A Search for Extraterrestrial Life (SETI), based on the possibility of interstellar communication via laser signals, is being designed to extend the search into the near-infrared spectral region (Wright et al, this conference). The dedicated near-infrared (900 to 1700 nm) instrument takes advantage of a new generation of avalanche photodiodes (APD), based on internal discrete amplification. These discrete APD (DAPD) detectors have a high speed response ($>$ 1 GHz) and gain comparable to photomultiplier tubes, while also achieving significantly lower noise than previous APDs. We are investigating the use of DAPD detectors in this new astronomical instrument for a SETI search and transient source observations. We investigated experimentally the advantages of using a multiple detector device operating in parallel to remove spurious signals. We present the detector characterization and performance of the instrument in terms of false positive detection rates both theoretically and empirically through lab measurements. We discuss the required criteria that will be needed for laser light pulse detection in our experiment. These criteria are defined to optimize the trade between high detection efficiency and low false positive coincident signals, which can be produced by detector dark noise, background light, cosmic rays, and astronomical sources. We investigate experimentally how false coincidence rates depend on the number of detectors in parallel, and on the signal pulse height and width. We also look into the corresponding threshold to each of the signals to optimize the sensitivity while also reducing the false coincidence rates. Lastly, we discuss the analytical solution used to predict the probability of laser pulse detection with multiple detectors.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will search for planets transiting bright and nearby stars. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission. The spacecraft will be placed into a highly elliptical 13.7-day orbit around the Earth. During its two-year mission, TESS will employ four wide-field optical CCD cameras to monitor at least 200,000 main-sequence dwarf stars with I<13 for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. Each star will be observed for an interval ranging from one month to one year, depending mainly on the star's ecliptic latitude. The longest observing intervals will be for stars near the ecliptic poles, which are the optimal locations for follow-up observations with the James Webb Space Telescope. Brightness measurements of preselected target stars will be recorded every 2 min, and full frame images will be recorded every 30 min. TESS stars will be 10-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the pioneering Kepler mission. This will make TESS planets easier to characterize with follow-up observations. TESS is expected to find more than a thousand planets smaller than Neptune, including dozens that are comparable in size to the Earth. Public data releases will occur every four months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest stars hosting transiting planets, which will endure as highly favorable targets for detailed investigations.
    06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (∼4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes (radii between 1.7 and 3.9 Earth radii) and ice or gas giant planets (radii greater than 3.9 Earth radii). These transitions correspond well with those inferred from dynamical mass estimates, implying that host star metallicity, which is a proxy for the initial solids inventory of the protoplanetary disk, is a key ingredient regulating the structure of planetary systems.
    Nature 05/2014; 509(7502):593-5. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Small planets, 1-4x the size of Earth, are extremely common around Sun-like stars, and surprisingly so, as they are missing in our solar system. Recent detections have yielded enough information about this class of exoplanets to begin characterizing their occurrence rates, orbits, masses, densities, and internal structures. The Kepler mission finds the smallest planets to be most common, as 26% of Sun-like stars have small, 1-2 R_e planets with orbital periods under 100 days, and 11% have 1-2 R_e planets that receive 1-4x the incident stellar flux that warms our Earth. These Earth-size planets are sprinkled uniformly with orbital distance (logarithmically) out to 0.4 AU, and probably beyond. Mass measurements for 33 transiting planets of 1-4 R_e show that the smallest of them, R < 1.5 R_e, have the density expected for rocky planets. Their densities increase with increasing radius, likely caused by gravitational compression. Including solar system planets yields a relation: rho = 2.32 + 3.19 R/R_e [g/cc]. Larger planets, in the radius range 1.5-4.0 R_e, have densities that decline with increasing radius, revealing increasing amounts of low-density material in an envelope surrounding a rocky core, befitting the appellation "mini-Neptunes." Planets of ~1.5 R_e have the highest densities, averaging near 10 g/cc. The gas giant planets occur preferentially around stars that are rich in heavy elements, while rocky planets occur around stars having a range of heavy element abundances. One explanation is that the fast formation of rocky cores in protoplanetary disks enriched in heavy elements permits the gravitational accumulation of gas before it vanishes, forming giant planets. But models of the formation of 1-4 R_e planets remain uncertain. Defining habitable zones remains difficult, without benefit of either detections of life elsewhere or an understanding of life's biochemical origins.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Automated Planet Finder (APF) is a facility purpose-built for the discovery and characterization of extrasolar planets through high-cadence Doppler velocimetry of the reflex barycentric accelerations of their host stars. Located atop Mt. Hamilton, the APF facility consists of a 2.4-m telescope and its Levy spectrometer, an optical echelle spectrometer optimized for precision Doppler velocimetry. APF features a fixed format spectral range from 374 nm - 970 nm, and delivers a "Throughput" (resolution * slit width product) of 114,000 arc-seconds, with spectral resolutions up to 150,000. Overall system efficiency (fraction of photons incident on the primary mirror that are detected by the science CCD) on blaze at 560 nm in planet-hunting mode is 15%. First-light tests on the RV standard stars HD 185144 and HD 9407 demonstrate sub-meter per second precision (RMS per observation) held over a 3-month period. This paper reviews the basic features of the telescope, dome, and spectrometer, and gives a brief summary of first-light performance.
    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Kepler mission has discovered over 2500 exoplanet candidates in the first two years of spacecraft data, with approximately 40% of them in candidate multi-planet systems. The high rate of multiplicity combined with the low rate of identified false-positives indicates that the multiplanet systems contain very few false-positive signals due to other systems not gravitationally bound to the target star (Lissauer, J. J., et al., 2012, ApJ 750, 131). False positives in the multi- planet systems are identified and removed, leaving behind a residual population of candidate multi-planet transiting systems expected to have a false-positive rate less than 1%. We present a sample of 340 planetary systems that contain 851 planets that are validated to substantially better than the 99% confidence level; the vast majority of these have not been previously verified as planets. We expect ~2 unidentified false-positives making our sample of planet very reliable. We present fundamental planetary properties of our sample based on a comprehensive analysis of Kepler light curves and ground-based spectroscopy and high-resolution imaging. Since we do not require spectroscopy or high-resolution imaging for validation, some of our derived parameters for a planetary system may be systematically incorrect due to dilution from light due to additional stars in the photometric aperture. None the less, our result nearly doubles the number of verified exoplanets.
    02/2014; 784(1).
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    ABSTRACT: We extend the statistical analysis of Lissauer et al. (2012, ApJ 750, 112), which demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) represent true transiting planets, and develop therefrom a procedure to validate large numbers of planet candidates in multis as bona fide exoplanets. We show that this statistical framework correctly estimates the abundance of false positives already identified around Kepler targets with multiple sets of transit-like signatures based on their abundance around targets with single sets of transit-like signatures. We estimate the number of multis that represent split systems of one or more planets orbiting each component of a binary star system. We use the high reliability rate for multis to validate more than one dozen particularly interesting multi-planet systems are validated in a companion paper by Rowe et al. (2014, ApJ, this issue). We note that few very short period (P < 1.6 days) planets orbit within multiple transiting planet systems and discuss possible reasons for their absence. There also appears to be a shortage of planets with periods exceeding a few months in multis.
    02/2014; 784(1).
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    ABSTRACT: The K2 mission will make use of the Kepler spacecraft and its assets to expand upon Kepler's groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of exoplanets and astrophysics through new and exciting observations. K2 will use an innovative way of operating the spacecraft to observe target fields along the ecliptic for the next 2-3 years. Early science commissioning observations have shown an estimated photometric precision near 400 ppm in a single 30 minute observation, and a 6-hour photometric precision of 80 ppm (both at V=12). The K2 mission offers simultaneous observation of thousands of objects at a precision far better than is achievable from the ground. Ecliptic fields will be observed for approximately 75-days enabling a unique exoplanet survey which fills the gaps in duration and sensitivity between the Kepler and TESS missions, and offers pre-launch exoplanet target identification for JWST transit spectroscopy. Astrophysics observations with K2 will include studies of young open clusters, bright stars, galaxies, supernovae, and asteroseismology.
    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report on the masses, sizes, and orbits of the planets orbiting 22 Kepler stars. There are 49 planet candidates around these stars, including 42 detected through transits and 7 revealed by precise Doppler measurements of the host stars. Based on an analysis of the Kepler brightness measurements, along with high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, Doppler spectroscopy, and (for 11 stars) asteroseismology, we establish low false-positive probabilities for all of the transiting planets (41 of 42 have a false-positive probability under 1%), and we constrain their sizes and masses. Most of the transiting planets are smaller than 3X the size of Earth. For 16 planets, the Doppler signal was securely detected, providing a direct measurement of the planet's mass. For the other 26 planets we provide either marginal mass measurements or upper limits to their masses and densities; in many cases we can rule out a rocky composition. We identify 6 planets with densities above 5 g/cc, suggesting a mostly rocky interior for them. Indeed, the only planets that are compatible with a purely rocky composition are smaller than ~2 R_earth. Larger planets evidently contain a larger fraction of low-density material (H, He, and H2O).
    01/2014;
  • Lauren M. Weiss, G. W. Marcy
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    ABSTRACT: We study the masses and radii of the 59 known exoplanets smaller than 4 Earth radii. We find a linear relation of the form M ≈ 3R, in units of Earth masses and radii. The RMS of planet masses is 3.8 Earth masses, and our best fit has reduced χ2 = 3.4, indicating a large diversity in planet compositions among small planets. Wu & Lithwick (2013), who also find M ≈ 3R for a different sample of small exoplanets characterized primarily with transit timing variations, note that the linear scaling is consistent with a constant escape velocity.
    01/2014;
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    Erik A Petigura, Andrew W Howard, Geoffrey W Marcy
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    ABSTRACT: Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size ($$1-2\hbox{ \hspace{0.5em} }{R}_{\oplus }$$) and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth ($$0.25-4\hbox{ \hspace{0.5em} }{F}_{\oplus }$$). We account for Kepler's imperfect detectability of such planets by injecting synthetic planet-caused dimmings into the Kepler brightness measurements and recording the fraction detected. We find that 11 ± 4% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet receiving between one and four times the stellar intensity as Earth. We also find that the occurrence of Earth-size planets is constant with increasing orbital period (P), within equal intervals of logP up to ∼200 d. Extrapolating, one finds $${5.7}_{-2.2}^{+1.7}$$% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet with orbital periods of 200-400 d.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The nearby Sun-like star HD 19467 shows a subtle radial velocity (RV) acceleration of -1.37+/-0.09 m/s/yr over an 16.9 year time baseline (an RV trend), hinting at the existence of a distant orbiting companion. We have obtained high-contrast adaptive optics images of the star using NIRC2 at Keck Observatory and report the direct detection of the body that causes the acceleration. The companion, HD 19467 B, is dK=12.57+/-0.09 mag fainter than its parent star (contrast ratio of 9.4e-6), has blue colors J-K_s=-0.36+/-0.14 (J-H=-0.29+/-0.15), and is separated by 1.653+/-0.004" (51.1+/-1.0 AU). Follow-up astrometric measurements obtained over an 1.1 year time baseline demonstrate physical association through common parallactic and proper motion. We calculate a firm lower-limit of m>51.9^{+3.6}_{-4.3}Mjup for the companion mass from orbital dynamics using a combination of Doppler observations and imaging. We estimate a model-dependent mass of m=56.7^{+4.6}_{-7.2}Mjup from a gyrochronological age of 4.3^{+1.0}_{-1.2} Gyr. Isochronal analysis suggests a much older age of $9\pm1$ Gyr, which corresponds to a mass of m=67.4^{+0.9}_{-1.5}Mjup. HD 19467 B's measured colors and absolute magnitude are consistent with a late T-dwarf [~T5-T7]. We may infer a low metallicity of [Fe/H]=-0.15+/-0.04 for the companion from its G3V parent star. HD 19467 B is the first directly imaged benchmark T-dwarf found orbiting a Sun-like star with a measured RV acceleration.
    11/2013; 781(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Planets with sizes between that of Earth (with radius ) and Neptune (about 4) are now known to be common around Sun-like stars. Most such planets have been discovered through the transit technique, by which the planet's size can be determined from the fraction of starlight blocked by the planet as it passes in front of its star. Measuring the planet's mass-and hence its density, which is a clue to its composition-is more difficult. Planets of size 2-4 have proved to have a wide range of densities, implying a diversity of compositions, but these measurements did not extend to planets as small as Earth. Here we report Doppler spectroscopic measurements of the mass of the Earth-sized planet Kepler-78b, which orbits its host star every 8.5 hours (ref. 6). Given a radius of 1.20 ± 0.09 and a mass of 1.69 ± 0.41, the planet's mean density of 5.3 ± 1.8 g cm(-3) is similar to Earth's, suggesting a composition of rock and iron.
    Nature 10/2013; · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Lick planet search program began in 1987 when the first spectrum of $\tau$ Ceti was taken with an iodine cell and the Hamilton Spectrograph. Upgrades to the instrument improved the Doppler precision from about 10 m/s in 1992 to about 3 m/s in 1995. The project detected dozens of exoplanets with orbital periods ranging from a few days to several years. The Lick survey identified the first planet in an eccentric orbit (70 Virginis) and the first multi-planet system around a normal main sequence star (Upsilon Andromedae). These discoveries advanced our understanding of planet formation and orbital migration. Data from this project helped to quantify a correlation between host star metallicity and the occurrence rate of gas giant planets. The program also served as a test bed for innovation with testing of a tip-tilt system at the coud{\'e} focus and fiber scrambler designs to stabilize illumination of the spectrometer optics. The Lick planet search with the Hamilton spectrograph effectively ended when a heater malfunction compromised the integrity of the iodine cell. Here, we present more than 14,000 velocities for 386 stars that were surveyed between 1987 and 2011.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 10/2013; 210(1). · 16.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stars hosting hot Jupiters are often observed to have high obliquities, whereas stars with multiple coplanar planets have been seen to have low obliquities. This has been interpreted as evidence that hot-Jupiter formation is linked to dynamical disruption, as opposed to planet migration through a protoplanetary disk. We used asteroseismology to measure a large obliquity for Kepler-56, a red giant star hosting two transiting coplanar planets. These observations show that spin-orbit misalignments are not confined to hot-Jupiter systems. Misalignments in a broader class of systems had been predicted as a consequence of torques from wide-orbiting companions, and indeed radial velocity measurements revealed a third companion in a wide orbit in the Kepler-56 system.
    Science 10/2013; 342(6156):331-4. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the discovery and characterization of a giant planet orbiting the young Sun-like star Kepler-63 (KOI-63, $m_{\rm Kp} = 11.6$, $T_{\rm eff} = 5576$ K, $M_\star = 0.98\, M_\odot$). The planet transits every 9.43 days, with apparent depth variations and brightening anomalies caused by large starspots. The planet's radius is $6.1 \pm 0.2 R_{\earth}$, based on the transit light curve and the estimated stellar parameters. The planet's mass could not be measured with the existing radial-velocity data, due to the high level of stellar activity, but if we assume a circular orbit we can place a rough upper bound of $120 M_{\earth}$ (3$\sigma$). The host star has a high obliquity ($\psi$ = $104^{\circ}$), based on the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect and an analysis of starspot-crossing events. This result is valuable because almost all previous obliquity measurements are for stars with more massive planets and shorter-period orbits. In addition, the polar orbit of the planet combined with an analysis of spot-crossing events reveals a large and persistent polar starspot. Such spots have previously been inferred using Doppler tomography, and predicted in simulations of magnetic activity of young Sun-like stars.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2013; 775(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

7k Citations
1,762.32 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993–2014
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Astronomy
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2013
    • NASA
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Astronomy
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2011–2013
    • California Institute of Technology
      • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
      Pasadena, California, United States
    • Konkoly Observatory
      Budapeŝto, Budapest, Hungary
    • University of California, Santa Barbara
      • Department of Physics
      Santa Barbara, California, United States
  • 2012
    • SETI Institute
      Mountain View, California, United States
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • Department of Physics
      Cambridge, MA, United States
    • San Diego State University
      • Department of Astronomy
      San Diego, CA, United States
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2002–2011
    • University of Texas at Austin
      • Department of Astronomy
      Austin, Texas, United States
  • 2010
    • University of Copenhagen
      • Niels Bohr Institute
      Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2009
    • University of Exeter
      Exeter, England, United Kingdom
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 2008–2009
    • University of California, San Francisco
      San Francisco, California, United States
    • Honolulu University
      Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
  • 1987–2009
    • San Francisco State University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 2003–2005
    • The University of Arizona
      Tucson, Arizona, United States