Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

Exoplanets and planet formation

At the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy we study young stars and planet formation from protoplanetary discs. We also investigate fully formed planets around more mature stars. Eventually we hope to address the key question of how many places in the universe might harbour life

Example of a protoplanetary disk

As high-resolution and ultra-high contrast techniques evolve, the power of these studies increases greatly. Most recently, with the study of exoplanetary atmospheres we have greatly enhanced what we can learn about other potentially habitable planetary systems. As we gain more observations we can improve our theoretical models. We work in close collaboration with de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and with SRON in the 'Are we Alone?' project.


Exoplanets, young stars, planet formation, protoplanetary discs, atmospheres, Earth-like planets


Now: VLT, HST, WHT, large-scale computing

Future: ELT, JWST

Leading Scientists


  • dr. J.M.L.B. (Jean-Michel) Desert | T: 0205257466

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Published by  Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

13 December 2017