De Wit and TRAPPIST-1 Science Team Receive NASA Award

EAPS News
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

EAPS congratulates Assistant Professor of Planetary Sciences Julien de Wit and his colleagues from the TRAPPIST-1 Science Team for earning a NASA Group Achievement Award.

De Wit accepted the award on August 28, 2018, on behalf of the TRAPPIST-1 team at the annual award ceremony held at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), for, "the outstanding scientific achievement in uncovering the nature of the TRAPPIST-1 system, revealing seven potentially habitable planets around a nearby cool red star."

In February of 2017 the team, including de Wit and colleagues from the University of Liège in Belgium, announced their discovery which marked a new record in exoplanet research. The TRAPPIST-1 system is the largest known of its kind outside our solar system, with a total of seven rocky, Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zone—the range around their host star where temperatures could potentially sustain liquid water.

The Group Achievement Award is one among the prestigious NASA Honor Awards, which are presented to a number of carefully selected individuals and groups, both Government and non-Government, who have distinguished themselves by making outstanding contributions to the Agency’s mission.

Story Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt, T. Pyle (IPAC)

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Julien de Wit’s primary interest and expertise lie in the field of data science where Math and Science are brought together to make sense of newly accessible pieces of reality. Over the past five years, he has developed and applied new analysis techniques to map exoplanet atmospheres, study the radiative and tidal planet-star interactions in eccentric planetary systems, and constrain the atmospheric properties and mass of exoplanets solely from transmission spectroscopy.

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