The Planet as Exoplanet Analog Spectrograph (PEAS), is led by Emily Martin, a UCSC Postdoctoral Fellow as well as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. Martin developed the novel instrument, which takes the light from a planet such as Jupiter and effectively turns it into a point source for spectroscopic analysis. This method will help identify exoplanets which are far away.

“We will be able to compare the results of our analyses with what we already know about the planets in our solar system from space missions that have actually sent probes to planets and done direct measurements,” Martin explained. PEAS is now assembled and ready for its final alignment after spending several months in the UCO shops getting put together. “We’re very excited to be taking it up to Lick Observatory later this month.”