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Aki Roberge Aki Roberge

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory

Code 667
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Phone: (301) 286-2967
Email: Aki.Roberge at

NASA staff webpage
Complete CV and publication list (PDF file)

My work focuses on 1) planet-forming disks around nearby young stars and 2) future missions to observe planets around other stars, aka. exoplanets.

My biography on NASA's “Imagine the Universe” educational website (2007)

A short video I narrated about discovery of carbon monoxide gas clumps - and maybe an unseen exoplanet - around the young star Beta Pictoris (2014)

Selected Professional Activities

NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG), executive committee member (2009 - 2014)

NASA Astrophysics Roadmap, team member (2013)

Goddard Center for Astrobiology, team member

Goddard Exoplanets Seminar

Selected Research Projects

I'm involved in planning for future space telescopes aimed at exoplanets and planet formation studies. One new activity is ...

CO clumps around the young star Beta Pic

CO clumps around Beta Pic
[Credit: ALMA / NASA GSFC / F. Reddy]

Exoplanet Probe Science and Technology Definition Teams: The goal is to study concepts for relatively near-term, medium-sized space telescopes aimed at direct observations of exoplanets and planet-forming disks. I'm a member of the External Occulter team, which will study a concept that uses a free-flying starshade to block out bright stars and see the faint planets or disks around them.

An artist's conception of a starshade mission

Click for a movie of a starshade mission [Credit: NASA / JPL / Caltech]

You can watch a public lecture on The Exoplanet-Starshade Mission, presented by me and two other members of our team at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago (June 2014).

For more technical detail, watch The Theory and Development of Starshades, a lecture I presented at the Sagan Summer Workshop (July 2014).

A public lecture on exoplanets and starshades

Click for a public lecture on exoplanets and starshades [Credit: Adler Planetarium]

I'm also participating in a Key Science Project for the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer: the “HOSTS” survey, which is a sensitive survey of warm interplanetary dust around nearby stars. Such dust — similar to the Solar System's zodiacal dust — comes from unseen asteroids and comets orbiting the stars. It is one of the important challenges for eventually directly imaging rocky terrestrial planets around other stars, since a large amount of dust can hide the planets.

The Large Binocular Telescope at Mount Graham, Arizona

The Large Binocular Telescope at Mount Graham, AZ [Credit: A. Roberge]

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22-Jan-2008 18:37:35 EST