- Chauvin Gaël
office(s): P.E.S building, Mont Gros & 03-006 at Fizeau buiding, Valrose
address: Laboratoire Lagrange, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Boulevard de l'Observatoire, CS 34229, 06304 Nice Cedex 4, France
phone: +33 6 4551 8209
mail: gael.chauvin (at) oca.eu
Imaging & Characterizing New Worlds
As astronomers, we live in a rich era in the research and characterization of other worlds. The discoveries of the last twenty years have profoundly changed our view of planetary formation. The likely future detections of bio-signatures in exoplanetary atmospheres will scientifically and even philosophically revolutionize our understanding of the formation and evolution of life. From this unique perspective, the role of observation for the detection and characterization of exoplanets is crucial to extend our in-depth understanding of the formation and evolution of physico-chemical properties (structure internal and atmospheric) of giant and telluric planets but also of planetary architectures. With more than two decades of exploration of new worlds outside the solar system, the development of new technologies and observational strategies has consistently led to key discoveries. In this contect, directly imaging of exoplanets is here unique to explore the outermost parts beyond Jupiter's orbit and complete our view of planetary architectures. It also allows a direct characterization of the luminosity, and atmospheric properties (composition and clouds) of young giant planets. Finally, young planets in formation can be directly imaged in the circumstellar environment allowing to connect the spatial structures resolved in the young proto-planetary or debris disks and the formation and evolution of giant and potentially telluric planets.
In this exciting context, I am a CNRS Researcher in the "Theory and Observations of Planets" (TOP) and "Physical Methods for Observations" (MPO) teams at the Lagrange Laboratory. My research activities have been devoted to image and characterize new worlds, and in particular to the study of exoplanets, their physical and atmospheric characterization and more globally, the study of the formation, the evolution and the architecture of planetary systems. I developed an expertise in the field of high-contrast imaging and spectroscopy. Taking advantage of my instrumental background and implication in the development of exoplanet spectro-imagers on Large Telescopes, through a large network of international collaborations and the supervision of young students and researchers, I obtained and participated in breakthrough results in the past 20 years. They include the first image of an exoplanet, the first spectral characterization of young exoplanetary atmospheres, the first direct evidence of a young exoplanet in revolution around its primary host, the discovery of one of the most extreme planetary systems in a binary, the determination of the frequency of giant planets at long periods necessary to test theories of planetary formation, the first exoplanet discovered by the extreme-Adaptive Optics planet imager SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch) at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), and more recently the discovery of young exoplanet in formation in young transition disk. I am now taking an active part in the preparation and definition of the next generation of instruments for the ground-based Euroepan community at VLT and the Extremely Large Telescope for the Horizon 2025 - 2035.