Projects

Main research focus

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.

Additional discoveries

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

  • TESS' very first exoplanet, Pi Men (Cnet, ScienceNews, ScienceAlert)

  • TESS' first Earth-sized planet, HD 21749 (New York Times)

  • TESS' first habitable zone planet, TOI-700 (Time, Forbes)

  • 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.

MIT Space Exploration Initiative

With humanity at the cusp of interplanetary civilization, the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) is actively building the technologies, tools, and human experiences of our Sci-Fi Space Future. In doing so, we build on the spirit of the Media Lab, uniting artists, scientists, engineers, and designers, supporting parabolic flights, suborbital and orbital launch research deployments, and a team of 50+ students, staff, and faculty.

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.

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

Zero G: Steve Boxall/ZERO-GStellar Flares: NASA's Goddard Space Flight CenterTOI-270: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scott WiessingerTESS: NASA's Goddard Space Flight CenterSpace Exploration Initiative: Steve Boxall, Zero GSPECULOOS: D. PadronNGTS: ESO/Gregory Lambert