Carsten Dominik researches the formation and evolution of stars and planets. He focuses in particular on the structure and evolution of protoplanetary disks around young stars. These disks are the birthplaces of new planets, known as exoplanets, beyond our own solar system.
Dominik’s research includes observations made through large telescopes such as the Herschel space telescope. An important component of a new instrument (SPHERE, to be used for the study of planets and disks) has been built for the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile under Dominik’s leadership, in collaboration with ETH Zurich. His research focuses on numerical model calculations for analysing the evolution of protoplanetary disks, and for simulating and studying the formation of new planets. In future, the search for earth-like planets will increasingly depend on a collaborative process with other disciplines such as Earth Sciences and the study of planetary atmospheres. Moving such collaboration forward will be an important area of Dominik’s work at the UvA.
Dominik has worked at the UvA’s Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek (IAP) since 1999. He is also a professor by special appointment in Exoplanets at Radboud University Nijmegen. Dominik is the coordinator of the ‘Formation and evolution of stars and planets’ network at the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA). He has been published in a number of scientific journals, including Nature, Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics, and The Astrophysical Journal.