Following the 2008 discovery of the first images of Jupiter-like planets outside our Solar System, scientists have been pushing the technical boundaries toward imaging Earth-like planets. In collaboration with Dr. Christian Marois, a new generation of highly efficient coronagraphs (blocking the star but not planet light) has been invented, providing up to 100 times better sensitivity than previous technology. These advancements will quite possibly enable the discovery of life on another planet.

Tags: Engineering, Space & the Universe

Benjamin Lionel Gerard

University of California, Santa Cruz

Dr. Benjamin Lionel Gerard is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California Santa Cruz, working on techniques to image planets like Earth around stars beyond our Solar System. He completed both his Masters and Doctoral studies in the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Victoria, working at the National Research Council of Canada with Dr. Christian Marois.