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Erik Petigura


I’m a fifth-year graduate student in the Astronomy department at the University of California, Berkeley. I have always been fascinated by planets around other suns.  At Berkeley, I have had the privilege of working with Geoff Marcy, a true pioneer in exoplanet science. Last year, I was a visiting graduate student at the University of Hawaii and worked closely with Andrew Howard. I am interested in Earth-sized planets around other stars.

I was born on December 6, 1988 in Palo Alto, California. Even though I grew up on Stanford’s doorstep, I bleed blue and gold. I received my B.A. in physics and astrophysics from UC Berkeley in the Spring of 2010 and returned that fall as a graduate student in the astronomy department. In my free time, I like to cook, travel, and play the electric guitar. I love live theatre, as an audience member and as an actor. Since moving to Hawaii, I’ve grown passionate about hiking, surfing, and poke.


Prevalence of Earth-size Planets Orbiting Sun-like Stars



Berkeley Nexus for Exoplanet System Science

At Berkeley we are bridging three techniques for discovering and characterizing extrasolar planets:  Transit, Doppler, and Direct Imaging.

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.

More about Berkeley Nexus for Exoplanet System Science