Fabo Feng (冯发波)

I am an exoplanet hunter at the Tsung-Dao Lee Institute in Shanghai, China. In January 2015, I got my PhD from the Heidelberg University and Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. During my PhD, I worked on building astronomical models for terrestrial events such as mass extinction, ice ages, climate change and impact events. I then moved to the University of Hertfordshire in England to start working on RV detection of exoplanets. After 3-year postdoc research in the UK, I moved to the DTM (now EPL) of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in the US. I began to work on astrometric detection of exoplanets and high precision exoplanetology. In 2020 October, I took the faculty position at TDLI and started to establish an exoplanet group. If you want to know me more, please have a look at the following CV.

In particular, our group’s research is focused on finding Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars as well as planetary systems similar to the Solar System. Our exoplanet group is working on the following areas:

  • Detect Earth twins using the transit and RV methods
  • Detect exomoon by combing transit, RV, astrometry and direct imaging data
  • Test general relativity in binary systems by measuring the variation in relativistic Doppler shift
  • Implement gravitational wave functionality of the PEXO software to detect gravitational waves in pulsar timing data
  • Build a high precision spectrograph called Earth Twin Finder (ETF) with a RV precision of 10 cm/s.

To achieve these goals, we need to build good instruments and improve data analysis precision. Our group will develop advanced algorithms to deal with the following issues:

  • Model the impact of stellar activity on RV and transit data using stochastic and deterministic models
  • Simultaneous fit of the noise model (cotrending or detrending model in transit data analysis, or stellar rotation and magnetic cycle in RV analysis) and signal model (transit or RV signals) to exoplanet data to avoid overfitting or underfitting problems
  • Develop synthetic approach to use RV, transit, astrometry and imaging data to fully characterize planetary systems
  • Build data reduction pipeline for RV data from scratch in order to mitigate the influence of stellar activity and tullerics on RV data quality.

Apart from exoplanet, I also have the following research interests:

  • Celestial dynamics
  • Bayesian statistics
  • Galactic dynamics
  • Interstellar travel
  • Paleogeology, paleoclimatology, mass extinction
  • Cosmic strings
  • Interdisciplinary science