Chris is a Professor in Extrasolar Planets and Low Mass Stars, and leads the extrasolar planet research group at Queen's University Belfast. He specialises in the discovery of exoplanets, as well as in characterising their atmospheres. His main interest is solving the problem that stellar activity (things such as star-spots) causes in the methods used to find extrasolar planets, and which represents the main roadblock currently preventing us from discovering an Earth-like alien world. He is involved in many of the world's leading facilities designed to look for such planets. These include the Terra Hunting Experiment, an ambitious 10-year ground-based survey hunting for rocky planets in the temperate zones around their host stars, as well as the European Space Agency's ~€600M PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations (PLATO) space mission. PLATO is scheduled to launch in 2026, and is the first mission specifically designed to find an Earth-2.0.
Exo Planets - Habitability beyond our solar system
Sun 5 November