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Matthew Kenworthy

Matthew KenworthyMatthew Kenworthy in 2019. Associate Professor at Leiden Observatory

My research covers the search and characterisation of extrasolar planets by direct imaging, and developing optical instrumentation to help find them. In the past few years I have been searching for circumplanetary disks and rings by looking for the shadows they cast as they pass between us and their parent stars.

ADS library of Matthew Kenworthy's publications and local copies of my papers are on my publications page. Here is my Curriculum Vitae (August 2020) along with a short biography and photos.


In order of responsiveness:

I tweet about astronomy and my work regularly, I put computer code produced by my group on GitHub, and I have an ORCID iDYes, that's the correct capitalization..

The bRing Project

Looking at one star continuously for over one year

In 2017 and the start of 2018, the circumplanetary environment of the gast giant exoplanet Beta Pictoris b crossed in front of the bright young star Beta Pictoris, a naked eye 4th magnitude star in the Southern skies. We wanted to see if any circumplanetary material crossed in front of the star over this event lasting 300 days, and so I led the bRing project.

The Beta Pictoris b ring (bRing) project are two small robotic observatories in South Africa and Australia, each one consists of two telephoto lenses with support computers so that we can continuously monitor the path of Beta Pictoris across the Southern skies. The design builds on the heritage gained in Leiden from the MASCARA all sky survey camera units. To get longitudinal coverage, two separate bRing cameras were built (one by Leiden Observatory for South Africa and one by University of Rochester for Australia) and the data is combined with MASCARA South to provide redundant photometric coverage. The photometric precision is 0.5% with 5 minutes of data.


This page was inspired by Edward Tufte's design principles and books. Tufte CSS was created by Dave Liepmann. All mistakes are my own. If you do decide to use any part of these web pages in presentations, please include a link to this page or at the very minimum, add "M. Kenworthy" somewhere visible.

Last updated around the start of December 2020.