Colby Jurgenson is a Research Scientist in the Department of Astronomy at Yale University who specializes in the development of state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation. He has designed and built spectrographs, imaging cameras, and beam combiners, the principle tools of the astronomer, in wavelength regimes spanning the visible to the mid-Infrared. In the Summer of 2013, one of his spectrograph designs is set to begin operations on a 2.4-meter telescope in the mountains of New Mexico. This instrument, named NESSI, is the first of its kind, having been designed and built solely to characterize the atmospheres of exoplanets. NESSI will allow scientists to gain a deeper understanding not only of what gasses surround these alien worlds, but develop a clearer picture of their dynamics. He came to Yale to work in Debra Fischer's Exoplanet Laboratory on the 100 Earths Project, with the specific goal of designing, building, and implementing the necessary instrumentation to find Earth-like worlds around nearby stars.
Tyler earned his Ph.D.from New Mexico Tech where he worked fringe-tracking for the interferometer at Magedelena Ridge Observatory. He is now a research scientist in the exoplanet group at Yale, developing a wavelength calibration technique based on a Fabry-Perot cavity locked to a stabilized laser. This approach offers advantages over other methods: it produces a broadband, comb-like output from 400 - 700 nm that is difficult to achieve with a laser frequency comb; by injecting into the science fibers before and after observations, weak stellar signals are not obliterated; and by locking the laser to an atomic transition, the spectrum is repeatable to 1 part in 10e-11 (1 cm/s).
Andy is a Senior Research Scientist in the Astronomy Department at Yale University, and advisor to the Exoplanets Instrumentation group. He is a classic MIT-trained rocket scientist and out of the box thinker!