Matthew A. Kenworthy

Associate professor at Leiden Observatory


Office: BW.4.47,

Gorlaeus Building,

Einsteinweg 55,

NL-2333 CC Leiden,

The Netherlands

Contact me by email: or by phone: +31 (0) 71 527 8455.

My group works on the direct imaging of extrasolar planets and their characterisation, the transits of giant ring systems in archival data, the search for exomoons and exocomets, and building and testing novel instrumentation.

I support open science by publishing my latest research papers using the Showyourwork! reproducible framework, and I regularly post about my astronomical research on social media.


Born and raised in Epsom, on the outskirts of London, Matthew Kenworthy gained an MA in Physics at the University of Oxford at Christ Church and received his PhD in Astronomical Instrumentation from the University of Cambridge in 1999 under the supervision of Ian Parry. He moved to the Center for Astronomical Adaptive Optics at Steward Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, for two years before moving to the University of Cincinnati for a postdoc position with Margaret Hanson. The lure of instrumentation proved to be too strong, however, and he moved back to Steward Observatory to become Instrument Scientist for the world’s first deformable secondary mirror adaptive optic system from 2003 to 2007.

In 2007 he became an Assistant Astronomer at Steward Observatory, involved in thermal imaging and searches for extrasolar planets. He uses a combination of coronagraphic optics, point spread function modelling and other various techniques in a quest to look closer in to the bright halos of star images to search for signs of companion planets.

In 2010 he moved over to the Netherlands to become an Assistant Professor at Leiden Observatory, becoming Associate Professor in 2015.