- Lead: Geoff Marcy
The Automated Planet Finder (APF) is a robotic 2.4-meter optical telescope stationed at Lick Observatory designed to assist with the search for extrasolar planets. The APF operates by targeting preprogrammed stars and observing them nightly over the course of several months in efforts to detect stellar motion and locate habitable planets.
NExSS is a cross-divisional initiative from NASA to create a research coordination network (RCN) with an emphasis on studying extrasolar planets and the potential for habitability. An RCN is a virtual structure to support groups of investigators to communication and coordinate research and educational activity. At Berkeley our contributions are the observations of extrasolar planets via direct imaging, the transit technique, and Doppler spectroscopy, plus the theoretical study of planet formation and subsequent evolution.
The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a new science instrument that exploits the latest generation of adaptive optics technology, coronagraphy and detectors. We have successfully commissioned GPI at the Gemini South telescope in Chile and in 2014 we started a three year science program called GPIES (GPI Exoplanet Survey) that will survey 600 stars for the presence of young giant planets.
The CARMA EDGE survey will provide a measurement of the distribution of molecular gas in a statistically significant sample of over one hundred galaxies. The survey targets the J = 1-0 transition of CO and its 13CO isotopologue, which trace the bulk of the cold, star-forming gas. Paired with matched IFU mapping of the entire optical spectrum, this survey enables studies of resolved star formation efficiencies and histories, gas and stellar kinematics, nebular extinctions, and ionized gas properties across the Hubble sequence. The EDGE survey is designed to move the field of millimeter-wave interferometry from the piecemeal collection of case studies into the realm of large samples.