Author Archives: Franck Marchis

About Franck Marchis

Dr. Franck Marchis is a Researcher at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute since July 2007. Over the past 15 years, he has dedicated his research to the study of our solar system 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, using fluorescence microscopy. His currently involved in the development of the Gemini Planet Imager, an extreme AO system for the Gemini South telescope which will be capable of imaging and record spectra of exoplanets orbiting around nearby stars.

First Discovery Of An Earth-Sized Planet In The Habitable Zone

Source: SETI Institute Press-release MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – For the first time, an Earth-sized planet has been found in the habitable zone of its star. This discovery not only proves the existence of worlds that might be similar to our own, ...

Surprising discovery: a ring around an asteroid

Some may say that our universe is full of beauty, others argue that it is our solar system that surprises us the most, but ultimately I will say that it is the world of small solar system bodies which is ...

Director of the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute publishes a Carl Sagan Biographical Memoir

David Morrison, director of the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute, has written a biographical memoir of Carl Sagan (1934-1996), founder of the modern disciplines of planetary science and exobiology. Morrison’s piece has been published in Biographical Memoirs, an online ...

The Next Step in Exoplanetary Science: Imaging New Worlds

In 2003, I was lucky enough to be part of a small group of astronomers that met at the University of California at Berkeley to brainstorm on an innovative idea: the design of an instrument to image and characterize planets ...

Asteroid Minerva finds its magical weapons in the sky

The International Astronomical Union has chosen the names Aegis and Gorgoneion for the two moons of the asteroid (93) Minerva.  My team discovered the small moons in 2009 using the W. M. Keck Telescope and its adaptive optics system. We ...

The French Pyrénées becomes the second-largest international dark sky reserve in the world

Adapted from  IDA press release http://www.darksky.org TUCSON, AZ, AND TOULOUSE, FRANCE, 19 December 2013 – The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) announced today the designation of the first International Dark Sky Place in France. In naming the Pic du Midi International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR), IDA is pleased ...

Fate of Planetary Habitability highlighted at the AGU Fall Meeting

Together with Cynthia Phillips, one of my SETI Institute colleagues, I will convene a session at the AGU Fall meeting tomorrow afternoon (oral) and Friday December 13 (poster) entitled "Rapid Environmental Change and the Fate of Planetary Habitability". This session will ...

Everything you need to know about asteroids at the AGU Fall Meeting

It is this time of the year again... I am convening and chairing a session on Asteroids entitled "Characterizing Small Solar System Bodies" tomorrow Tuesday at the December 9th at AGU Fall Meeting. It will be composed of nine talks presented ...

How we collaborate with a group of amateur space sleuths to study the triple asteroid (87) Sylvia

I am back from the 45th annual Division of Planetary Sciences meeting in Denver, Colorado, where I presented my findings on the study of the triple asteroid system (87) Sylvia through a poster and in a press conference (video here). Located in the ...

Take a break today, read this poem “Across the Dark, the Pioneers”

If you need a break today, you should read this poem  by G. Landis published recently in the Starship Century Book. Truly inspiring!     Across the Dark, the Pioneers Geoffrey A. Landis The ships first sent across the dark ocean, pebbles flung into the universe vast, rocket-propelled, ...