Projects

Main research projects

How do stellar flares impact habitability?

How can flares impact the habitability on our own Earth and on exoplanets - and why might they be related to the origin of life? Read more.

Small exoplanets around small stars

Why is the TOI-270 system a true Disneyland for exoplanet scientists, and what can we learn from it about our own Earth? Read more.

Ø-scillation: oscillating chemistry in zero gravity and beyond

Why should we go into space if we want to understand where we came from? Read more.

Allesfitter: one code to fit them all

Over the last year I developed an extensive tool set that I bundled up in this public code, with the hope that it can be useful to fellow exoplaneteers and stellar astronomers. Read more.

Other research projects

Click here to read more about some of my other studies, including:

  • Discoveries such as
  • Unmasking hidden exoplanets with novel techniques
  • Measuring stellar light to 1/4000th image pixel precision
  • Optimizing the yield of exoplanet surveys

Teams & collaborations

TESS

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is set to discover thousands of new exoplanets. Launched in April 2018, TESS now monitors millions of stars for temporary drops in brightness, which are caused by planetary transits. It will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances - and maybe even Earth 2.0.

SPECULOOS

The SPECULOOS mission (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars) consists of four Ritchey–Chrétien telescopes of 1-meter primary aperture, and is based in Paranal, Chile. It's prime mission is to study planets around the coolest of all stars, and find many more systems like the famous TRAPPIST-1 - which was discovered by the SPECULOOS prototype.

NGTS

The Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is an exoplanet hunter based in Paranal, Chile. With its 12 fully robotized 20 cm telescopes, NGTS covers a total field of view of almost 100 sq. deg. on the sky at once. The main goal of NGTS is to find transiting Neptunes that will be suitable for RV follow-up and mass measurements using current and future instruments such as HARPS and ESPRESSO.

Educating, engaging & volunteering

  • 2019: 'Ask/Tell a Scientist' at the Science Festival in Cambridge, MA, USA: Enagaged in open discussions with the public about any scientific topic, from astronomy to biology.
  • 2018: Volunteered for a month with marine biologists in Mozambique, teaching in local schools about marine conservation and sea awareness - sprinkled with some astrophysics.
  • 2017: Hosted a public evening on exoplanets in Burgkunstadt Germany, and gave a visiting tutorial for the high school's astrophysics course. Featured in the local German news (web1, web2) and on the school's website (web1, web2).
  • 2017: Tutored high-performing high-school students in physics and astronomy over multiple months, as part of 'The Brilliant Club' - a charitable programme focussed on low-participation neighbourhoods (web).
  • 2016: Bringing exoplanet science to 8-12 year old pupils in Barton Road and Milton Road Primary Schools. Thanks to the Cambridge Science Festival Roadshow for this fantastic programme (leaflet).
  • 2015: Initiated a public evening on exoplanets hosted at my former high school, Gymnasium Burgkunstadt, in Germany. The evening was featured in articles in the Obermain Tagblatt (web) and on the school's website (web).

Contact

Department of Physics, and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space ResearchMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA 02139, USAEmail: maxgue [at] mit.edu Twitter: @M_N_Guenther

Image Credits

Stellar Flares: NASA's Goddard Space Flight CenterTOI-270: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scott WiessingerTESS: NASA's Goddard Space Flight CenterSPECULOOS: D. PadronNGTS: ESO/Gregory LambertOutreach: Obermain Tagblatt/Adriane Lochner