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.gov

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

LUVOIR Decadal Survey Mission Concept Study, NASA study scientist (2016 - 2019)

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

NASA Astrophysics Roadmap, team member (2013)

Goddard Center for Astrobiology, team member

Planet formation in action around Beta Pictoris
Planet formation in action around Beta Pictoris [Credit: ALMA / NASA GSFC / F. Reddy]

Selected Projects

I'm the Study Scientist for the LUVOIR Decadal Survey Mission Concept Study. The Large UV / Optical / IR Surveyor (LUVOIR) is envisaged a highly capable, multi-wavelength observatory with ambitious science goals.

One of LUVOIR's primary aims is detailed investigation of a wide range of exoplanets, including those that might be habitable - or even inhabited. LUVOIR would also enable great leaps forward in a broad range of space science, from the early universe, through galaxy formation and evolution, star and planet formation, to remote sensing of Solar System bodies.

The science of LUVOIR, from galaxy formation to living worlds
The science of LUVOIR, from galaxy formation to living worlds
[Credit: NASA / A. Roberge]

I was also a member of the Exoplanet Probe Science and Technology Definition Teams. The goal was to study concepts for relatively near-term, medium-sized space telescopes aimed at direct observations of exoplanets and planet-forming disks. I was a member of the External Occulter team, which studied 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
A starshade mission movie
[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
A public lecture on exoplanets and starshades
[Credit: Adler Planetarium]
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