The Department of Astronomy is now an eligible host for the prestigious 51 Pegasi b Fellowship for postdoctoral research. The 51 Pegasi b Fellowship provides postdoctoral scientists with the opportunity to conduct theoretical, observational, and experimental research in planetary astronomy.
Planetary astronomy research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison covers a range of topics among our five exoplanet-focused faculty, from planet formation to atmospheric characterization and searches for life. Specific topics and faculty within the Department are: chemical evolution in protoplanetary disks (Ke Zhang), laboratory astrochemisty studies (Susanna Widicus-Weaver), planetary system dynamics (Juliette Becker), RV detection of new exoplanets (Thomas Beatty, Juliette Becker), exoplanet atmospheric characterization (Thomas Beatty), astrobiology and origins of life (Zoe Todd).
New 51 Pegasi b Fellows will be able to participate in the newly-developed Wisconsin Center for Origins Research (WiCOR), which will unite seven departments and 30 faculty members working on topics ranging from exoplanets to abiogenesis. Fellows will also benefit from the University’s institutional access to the Southern African Large Telescope, WIYN Observatory (including the NEID spectrograph), and Northern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA). Faculty have also been recently successful with national proposals for ALMA, HST, and JWST time. Lab facilities include a spectroscopy-focused laboratory (Widicus-Weaver), and a prebiotic chemistry-focused laboratory (Todd). UW Space Place, an education and outreach center of the Astronomy Department, provides regular workshops for K12 school groups, clubs, and special interest groups in astronomy. 51 Pegasi b Fellows are encouraged to participate in existing Space Place programs and to develop their own.