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Prof Sasha Hinkley

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Please see my personal webpage that I manage at:  As a brief overview, I'm an experimental astrophysicist interested in high contrast imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanetary systems.  Specifically, for my PhD at Columbia University, and while a Sagan and an NSF Fellow at the California Institute of Technology, I led the development of an infrared imaging spectrometer for Palomar Observatory dedicated for this task.  Since my arrival at Exeter, I have become an active user of ESO facilities, while continuing to mine through my large direct imaging survey for planets I carried out at the W. M. Keck Observatory while at Caltech.  In addition to a 23-hour Cycle 1 program, I am also the Principal Investigator for an approved 54-hour Early Release Science Program with the James Webb Space Telescope, working with Andy Skemer (UCSC) and Beth Biller (Edinburgh) as well as numerous other astronomers across the world. 

Students & Postdocs: 

  1. Shrishmoy Ray (currently a thrid-year PhD student) is working on the Aperture Masking Interferometry mode (one of the primary high contrast modes) for JWST which will be sensitivity to Jovian-mass planets on solar system scales. 
  2. Cecilia Lazzoni is a new postdoc in my group, who has several years of expertise with imaging and spectroscopy of planetary mass companions and circumstellar disks.  
  3. My next PhD student Aarynn Carter (now a Postdoc at UCSC) has carried out the most up-to-date simulations of the sensitivity of JWST to directly imaged planets  
  4. My first PhD student Elisabeth Matthews, now a postdoc at MIT and Geneva, led our survey for planets around young stars with evidence for multiple belts of circumstellar debris using SPHERE at the VLT.  Elisabeth's work uncovered a spectacular image of a nearly edge-on disk around the star HD 129590 (see paper below). 

Some Selected Publications: 

  1. Hinkley et al. 2021. "Discovery of an Edge-on Debris Disk around BD+45 598: A Newly Identified Member of the Beta Pictoris Moving Group"
  2. Hinkley et al. 2015. "Discovery of Seven Companions to Intermediate-Mass Stars with Extreme Mass Ratios in the Scorpius-Centaurus Association"
  3. Hinkley et al. 2015. "Early Results from VLT SPHERE: Long-slit Spectroscopy of 2MASS0122-2439B, a Young Companion Near the Deuterium Burning Limit."
  4. Matthews et al. 2017. "The First Scattered-light Image of the Debris Disk around the Sco-Cen Target HD129590."
  5. Hinkley et al., 2011. "A New High Contrast Imaging Program at Palomar Observatory."