Author Archives: Franck Marchis

About Franck Marchis

Dr. Franck Marchis is a Senior Researcher and Chair of the Exoplanet Group at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute since July 2007. Over the past 19 years, he has dedicated his research to the study of our solar system, specifically the search for asteroids with moons, using mainly ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics. More recently he has been also involved in the definition of new generation of AOs for 8 -10 m class telescopes and future Extremely Large Telescopes. He has developed algorithms to process and enhance the quality of images, both astronomical and biological. His currently involved in the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey, which consists in imaging exoplanets using an extreme AO system for the Gemini South telescope. This new instrument is be capable of imaging and recording spectra of young Jupiter-like exoplanets orbiting around nearby stars.

Flying through the binary trojan asteroid system (617) Patroclus

Another day, another video! This time I am posting a video of the binary L5 Trojan Asteroid (617) Patroclus-Menoetius. In collaboration, with the team at the California Academy of Sciences, we have created a model of this interesting binary asteroid system ...

Visiting the L4 Trojan Asteroid (624) Hektor

I finally started uploading some of the animations of the talk that I gave last month at the California Academy of Sciences. Today let's watch (624) Hektor, the binary and bilobed largest Jupiter-Trojan asteroids. This is a puzzling multiple asteroid ...

Gravitational wave detection rumors may end on Feb 11

It is official. NSF, together with scientists from Caltech, MIT and the LIGO collaboration will give an update on their effort to detect gravitational waves. What is LIGO? Check out this article published in Arstechnica by Eric Berger. I am not going ...

PeaceForParis by the artist Jean Jullien

How to explain the inconceivable

I am often asked to comment on what happened in Paris last December since I have both French and American citizenships and I live in the US. Like a lot of my compatriotes, it has been difficult to watch those events unfold on Friday afternoon ...

AGU 2015 session: Direct Imaging of Habitable Exoplanets: Progress and Future

Join us tomorrow at the AGU Fall Meeting for a session on direct imaging of habitable exoplanets that I organized with my colleagues Ramses Ramirez from Cornell University and David Black. This session consists in a discussion on the potential of new and future ...

Thoughts on GPI

In a major breakthrough for exoplanet discovery and exploration, the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is proving to be one of most powerful and effective instruments ever invented for directly imaging planets in orbit around other stars. The behind-the-scenes story of this ...

Happy New Year to the Planet!

I decided to do something new to start the New Year. I translated a podcast from a program called Geopolitics on France Inter written by Anthony Bellanger. You can listen to the original French version here. I like the text since it is ...

AGU Fall Meeting 2014: Solar System Small Bodies: Relics of Formation and New Worlds to Explore

Can you believe it is December already!? As usual, it is a busy month with the AGU Fall Conference.  I co-organized a session on small solar system bodies with Padma Yanamandra-Fisher (PSI)  and Julie Castillo (JPL).  We will talk about recent discoveries ...

House Hearings Fail to Tap NASA’s Full Potential

Yesterday the  U.S. House of Representatives  Subcommittee on Space held a hearing entitled "Exploring Our Solar System: The ASTEROIDS Act as a Key Step Planetary science". I was curious about this act and expected the hearing to focus on interesting ...

Kardashev Type III civilizations could be rare

These two papers by J.T. Wright's group were posted today on astro-ph The Ĝ Infrared Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies. I. Background and Justification J. T. Wright, B. Mullan, S. Sigurðsson, M. S. Povich http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.1133 The Ĝ Infrared Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies. II. ...