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Welcome to the Website of Dr. Brett Addison


Welcome to my WWW homepage! My name is Dr. Brett Addison and I am a postdoc astronomer at Mississippi State University in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. I am working on the Starchive Open Access Stellar Database with Dr. Angelle Tanner as well as measuring the spin-orbit alignments of extrasolar planetary systems. I obtained my PhD in astronomy/astrophysics from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Department of Astrophysics and Optics (School of Physics) in April 2015. I was a member of the exoplanetary science group and was also associated with the Australian Centre for Astrobiology (ACA) during my PhD.

Whilst at UNSW, I carried out radial velocity follow up measurements of transiting planet candidates from the transit survey HATSouth and measured the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect to determine the spin-orbit alignments of transiting planets using the fibre bundle CYCLOPS2 on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The title of my PhD thesis is 'Measuring the Spin-Orbit Alignments of Extrasolar Planets'. My research aims were to better understand the processes involved in the formation of planets and the mechanisms driving planetary migration and spin-orbit misalignments.

My research at MSU involves developing the Starchive Open Access Stellar and Planetary Database. Starchive will host all the useful observable stellar metadata (e.g., photometry, vsini, radial velocities, distances, metallicities, etc.) and derived physical parameters (e.g., mass, radii, luminosity, age, etc.) astronomers need to plan observing proposals, prepare for an observing run, or complete tables for a paper. Additionally, the database will contain high contrast images, infrared and optical spectra, and light curves. Starchive is nearing the completion of the beta stage and we hope that the astronomical community will utilize the database soon (early 2018).

The other research project I am working on at MSU is measuring the spin-orbit alignments of planetary systems, with a focus on multi-planet transiting systems. This project is in collaboration with Songhu Wang at Yale University. We have successfully measured the spin-orbit alignment of Kepler-9, a multi-transiting planetary system from Keck Doppler spectroscopy observations.

For more details on my work, please check out my research page. In addition, you can read about my personal and professional interests and news, as well as any classes that I teach and outreach activities.



The ultimate goal of exoplanetary science is to one day answer the most fundamental question proposed by humankind: Is there life on other planets? Image credit: Luciano S. Méndez.

News & Updates

  • Started Postdoc Position at Mississippi State University

    16 December 2015 - I have just started a postdoctoral position at Mississippi State University to work on developing the Starchive Open Access Stellar and Planetary Database with Dr. Angelle Tanner.

  • PhD Thesis Has Been Accepted! I Now Have My PhD!

    08 April 2015 - I now officially have my PhD in astrophysics. My thesis is titled: 'Measuring the Spin-Orbit Alignments of Extrasolar Planets'. It will appear on arXiv soon.

  • Paper on the Spin-Orbit Alignments of Two Planetary Systems Submitted to ApJ

    05 April 2015 - Paper on the measurements of the spin-orbit alignments of two Hot Jupiters systems has been submitted to ApJ. Watch out for it.

  • PhD Thesis Submitted!

    27 September 2014 - I have just recently submitted my PhD thesis on 'Measuring the Spin-Orbit Alignments of Extrasolar Planets'.