The Other Worlds Laboratory (OWL) is a new research initiative at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) that builds on the university’s historic successes in the study of planets inside and outside the solar system.

Within OWL, we seek to understand Earth’s place in the diversity of our solar system, use state-of-the-art techniques to find planets around other stars (“exoplanets”), understand how planets form, characterize their atmospheres, and understand if they are possible homes for life.

Focus areas include:

  • The discovery of exoplanets via transits, radial velocity, and direct imaging
  • Characterizing exoplanetary atmospheres with the world’s largest telescopes
  • Modeling atmospheric chemistry, spectra, and circulation
  • Planet formation
  • Planetary system dynamical evolution
  • Planetary interior structure and evolution
  • Planetary magnetic field structure and evolution
  • Developing novel telescope instrumentation for exoplanetary characterization
  • Solar system space missions