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The Keck Planet Finder (KPF)

March 31, 2023

When: March 31, 2023 3:30PM
Where: LCO Downstairs Conference Room

BJ Fulton


The Keck Planet Finder (KPF) is a powerful next-generation optical spectrometer designed to discover and characterize extrasolar planets using the radial velocity technique. With a single measurement precision of <50 cm/s and a goal of 30 cm/s, KPF will fill a niche with its combination of large aperture and extreme precision in the Northern Hemisphere. KPF's unique features include a Zerodur-based design for maximum stability, image slicing for maximum throughput, a separate Ca H&K spectrometer and coverage of canonical lines for stellar activity mitigation, and access to the large Keck aperture. KPF's primary science driver is to measure the masses and orbital properties of small planets including Earths, super-Earths, and sub-Neptunes. It will also excel at the characterization of transiting planets from missions such as Kepler, TESS, and PLATO and discover planets orbiting nearby bright stars. KPF will be a broadly capable high-resolution optical spectrometer that will provide unprecedented insight into stellar behaviors.

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BJ Fulton

I am currently a research scientist at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) and the NN-EXPLORE project scientist. I obtained M.S. and PhD degrees in astronomy from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a B.S. in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I specialize in the detection and characterization of planets orbiting stars other than our Sun (exoplanets) using Doppler spectroscopy.

I currently live in Pasadena, CA with my wife Amanda and our two pets. Besides discovering alien worlds, I enjoy digital photography and racing my Nissan 350Z at track and autocross events.

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