Thursday, November 10, 2022
We have now discovered thousands of exoplanetary systems that inform our understanding of planet formation and evolution. Despite this wealth of data, we still know remarkably little about the details of how forming planets accumulate material, and how the atmospheres and orbital configurations of mature planets evolve over time. Addressing many fundamental questions in this field requires directly characterizing a sample of exoplanets with a variety of ages, masses, and orbits. While we have begun to achieve these observations for a small subset of the exoplanet population, building the census of directly-characterized planets requires improvements in both instrumentation and data processing. I will highlight some of my group’s work in these areas, aimed at pushing the capabilities of direct imaging instruments to expand the exoplanet characterization space. This will include applying high resolution imaging techniques to direct planet formation studies, developing cutting-edge instrumentation for 10-meter-class telescopes, and preparing for enhanced exoplanet science with upcoming observing facilities.