Christian Marois

Christian Marois
Adjunct Associate Professor; Research Officer
UVic Physics and Astronomy; NRC Herzberg
Office: Room 402, DAO
Area of expertise

Exoplanets, high-contrast imaging, instrumentation


My main area of expertise is direct exoplanet imaging, a field I have been working in since my master studies. My most significant science achievement to date is the imaging discovery of the first multi-planet system HR 8799 in 2008 at the Gemini North and Keck observatories. In addition, I am well known for inventing the ADI imaging technique; a method that allows an impressive gain of up to 100x in our ability to see exoplanets orbiting around stars.

I currently dedicate my time to:

  1. finish my IDPS campaign (Gemini, Keck and VLT survey where we found HR 8799)
  2. perform engineering/science observations with the Gemini Planet Imager (an optimize exoplanet imager at the Gemini South observatory; I spent the first 10 years of my professional life to help design/built GPI; I am also part of the 900h campaign team, co-leading the data reduction and data archiving group)
  3. improve our image subtraction algorithms to allow the detection of fainter/less massive planets
  4. evaluate performances and find ways to better optimize the TMT NFIRAOS/IRIS instruments for exoplanet detections
  5. start a stratospheric balloon experiment called MAPLE to potentially take the first images of a rocky Earth-like planet orbiting another star.

Always looking for the best students to boldly go where no one has gone before!