This is the website for Prof. Jacob Bean's group in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. The main theme of the group's research is the observational study of planets outside the Solar System ("exoplanets"). We use ground- and space-based telescopes to detect and characterize these worlds. We are also engaged in building new instruments as part of our push towards eventually identifying other Earth-like planets.

See here for a recent talk summarizing some of the group's research.

Open Position

There is an opening for a postdoc or higher level position in instrumentation in the group. We are looking for someone to play a major role in our M dwarf radial velocity spectrograph project. Experience in optical and mechanical design, laser technology, fiber optics, instrument integration, or software is desirable. Contact Jacob for more information.


10/15/2014: Jacob has been awarded a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering.

10/09/2014: We have just published two papers with the results from an intensive study of the hot Jupiter WASP-43b using HST.

Paper 1 (Stevenson et al.) presents the first phase-resolved emission spectroscopy of an exoplanet. See the paper at Science Express or a preprint here. In particular, check out the movie showing an animation of the emission spectra and brightness temperature maps as a function of phase.

Paper 2 (Kreidberg et al.) presents a precise determination of the water abundance in the planet's atmosphere. See the paper at ApJ Letters or a preprint (with supplementary figures) here.

More links:
STScI press release
Video discussing the results for a lay audience

09/18/2014: Former undergrad Hannah Diamond-Lowe's paper, which shows that the atmosphere of HD209458b likely does not have a thermal inversion, is now available: arXiv:1409.5336.