The University of Montreal and of exoplanets
Discovering planets beyond the solar system that could sustain life is what drives astrophysicist René Doyon, who says he is “searching for new worlds.”
In addition to this inventory of the vicinity of the sun, Dr. Doyon’s challenge is to describe the atmosphere of these exoplanets, to find their biosignature. This high-precision work depends on developing advanced astronomical instruments, both on the ground and in space.
A professor at University de Montreal, director of the University’s Institute for Research on Exoplanets and the Mont-Mégantic Observatory, René Doyon is also the senior Canadian researcher for the development of NIRISS, one of the four scientific instruments for the future James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.
The astrophysicist will manage the instrument, which offers unprecedented precision and is designed to determine the chemical composition of exoplanets, in the hopes of detecting water and, potentially, life forms.
With all of his discoveries and accomplishments, René Doyon has never lost interest in the question that has preoccupied people for centuries: is there life on other planets?
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