Dr Martin Dominik

Dr Martin Dominik

Reader

Researcher profile

Phone
+44 (0)1334 46 3068
Email
md35@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

Biography

Martin Dominik is a Reader at the School of Physics & Astronomy of the University of St Andrews. He completed his doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) at the University of Dortmund (Germany) in 1996, where he was attracted from theoretical physics into astronomy with new developments in the emerging field of 'gravitational lensing', i.e. the gravitational bending of light. Martin subsequently worked at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore (MD, U.S.A), supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG), and as Marie Curie Fellow at the Kapteyn Institute of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (The Netherlands). A serious medical condition encountered in 2000 meant that he had to start re-building his career with the move to St Andrews in 2003. He held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship from 2006 to 2015. Since 1993, Martin's research has focused on applications of the gravitational microlensing effect, and in particular on its potential for studying planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. His work as a team co-leader was essential for detecting OGLE-2005BLG-390Lb, which, with estimated 5 Earth masses, was considered to be the least massive extra-solar planet orbiting a star known at the time of the announcement of this discovery, and provided the first observational hint that Earth-like planets are common in the Universe. Martin is a strong advocate of communication being an essential part of science, and science being an integral part of society. He organised a Royal Society 350 th anniversary year Discussion Meeting on "The detection of extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society". He also established a programme “Fascination Astronomy” supporting education and capacity building in Qatar. Martin was elected member of the Global Young Academy, and he is also member of the SETI Permanent Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics. He is interested in policy dimensions and engaging across national borders, as well as across the sciences, humanities, and arts.

Teaching

Martin Dominik has been teaching General Relativity, as well as selected lectures of the SUPA Astrobiology course.

Research areas

Martin Dominik is a Reader at the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of St Andrews. His research focuses on applications of the gravitational microlensing effect, and in particular on its potential for studying planets orbiting stars other than the Sun.

Gravitational microlensing events arise from the bending of light of observed stars caused by the gravity of an intervening stellar or sub-stellar mass object, resulting in a characteristic transient brightening (photometric signature) and a shift of the centroid of light (astrometric signature). Observing these signatures can provide us with population statistics of faint or unseen objects over a mass range spanning more than 9 decades, from black holes over neutron stars, white dwarfs, brown dwarfs, gas- and ice-giant planets, super-Earths and rocky planets, down to satellites of Lunar mass.

While more than 1000 extra-solar planets have been reported, revealing an amazing diversity, there is still uncharted territory remaining to be explored, namely towards lower planet masses and temperatures. Gravitational microlensing is uniquely suited to fill this gap of knowledge with its detection sensitivity peaking beyond the snow line.

Martin Dominik is the co-PI and Science Coordinator of the MiNDSTEp campaign, which monitors ongoing gravitational microlensing events with high-quality photometry at high cadence, after previously having been co-PI of the PLANET collaboration, which in 1995 established the first round-the-clock microlensing follow-up network, and led the detection of 5-Earth mass planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, which provided the first observational hint for Earth-like planets being common in the Universe. He is also a co-I of the RoboNet campaign, using a network of 1m and 2m robotic telescopes, including the three SUPAscopes, which form part of the LCOGT network. He is PI of the ARTEMiS project, providing a software system for real-time data modelling, visualisation, and implementation of an efficient strategy, which steers the automated target selection of both the MiNDSTEp and RoboNet campaigns.

While upcoming high-cadence wide-field microlensing surveys are now set to probe the mass function of cold planets down to Earth mass, Dominik is currently developing lucky imaging photometry for the MiNDSTEp and RoboNet campaigns in order to extend the sensitivity by a further two decades in mass, reaching even beyond the Moon.

On the other end of the mass spectrum, Dominik is co-I of a project to identify isolated stellar-mass black holes by means of astrometric microlensing.

PhD supervision

  • Fran Bartolic
  • Elliott Fogg
  • James Hitchcock
  • Patrick Barth

Selected publications

  • Discovery of a cool planet of 5.5 Earth masses through gravitational microlensing

    Beaulieu, J-P., Bennett, D. P., Fouque, P., Williams, A., Dominik, M., Jorgensen, U. G., Kubas, D., Cassan, A., Coutures, C., Greenhill, J., Hill, K., Menzies, J., Sackett, P. D., Albrow, M. D., Brillant, S., Caldwell, J. A. R., Calitz, J. J., Cook, K. H., Corrales, E., Desort, M., Dieters, S., Dominis, D., Donatowicz, J., Hoffman, M., Kane, S., Marquette, J-B., Martin, R., Meintjes, P., Pollard, K., Sahu, K., Vinter, C., Wambsganss, J., Woller, K., Horne, K. D., Steele, I., Bramich, D. M., Burgdorf, M., Snodgrass, C., Bode, M., Udalski, A., Szymanski, M. K., Kubiak, M., Wieckowski, T., Pietrzynski, G., Soszynski, I., Szewczyk, O., Wyrzykowski, L., Paczynski, B., Abe, F., Bond, I. A., Britton, T. R., Gilmore, A. C., Hearnshaw, J. B., Itow, Y., Kamiya, K., Kilmartin, P. M., Korpela, A. V., Masuda, K., Matsubara, Y., Motomura, M., Muraki, Y., Nakamura, S., Okada, C., Ohnishi, K., Rattenbury, N. J., Sako, T., Sato, S., Sasaki, M., Sekiguchi, T., Sullivan, D. J., Tristram, P. J., Yock, P. C. M. & Yoshioka, T., 26 Jan 2006, In: Nature. 439, 7075, p. 437-440 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • An anomaly detector with immediate feedback to hunt for planets of Earth mass and below by microlensing

    Dominik, M., Rattenbury, N. J., Allan, A., Mao, S., Bramich, D. M., Burgdorf, M. J., Kerins, E., Tsapras, Y. & Wyrzykowski, L., 11 Sep 2007, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 380, 2, p. 792-804 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • ARTEMiS (Automated Robotic Terrestrial Exoplanet Microlensing Search): A possible expert-system based cooperative effort to hunt for planets of Earth mass and below

    Dominik, M., Horne, K., Allan, A., Rattenbury, N. J., Tsapras, Y., Snodgrass, C., Bode, M. F., Burgdorf, M. J., Fraser, S. N., Kerins, E., Mottram, C. J., Steele, I. A., Street, R. A., Wheatley, P. J. & Wyrzykowski, L., Mar 2008, In: Astronomische Nachrichten. 329, p. 248-251 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Discovery of a Jupiter/Saturn analog with gravitational microlensing

    Gaudi, B. S., Bennett, D. P., Udalski, A., Gould, A., Christie, G. W., Maoz, D., Dong, S., McCormick, J., Szymanski, M. K., Tristram, P. J., Nikolaev, S., Paczynski, B., Kubiak, M., Pietrzynski, G., Soszynski, I., Szewczyk, O., Ulaczyk, K., Wyrzykowski, L., Depoy, D. L., Han, C., Kaspi, S., Lee, C. -U., Mallia, F., Natusch, T., Pogge, R. W., Park, B. -G., Abe, F., Bond, I. A., Botzler, C. S., Fukui, A., Hearnshaw, J. B., Itow, Y., Kamiya, K., Korpela, A. V., Kilmartin, P. M., Lin, W., Masuda, K., Matsubara, Y., Motomura, M., Muraki, Y., Nakamura, S., Okumura, T., Ohnishi, K., Rattenbury, N. J., Sako, T., Saito, T., Sato, S., Skuljan, L., Dominik, M., Horne, K. D. & RoboNET Collaborations, uFUN Collaboration, MOA Collaboration, OGLE Collaboration, PLANET Collaboration, 15 Feb 2008, In: Science. 319, 5865, p. 927-930 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Studying planet populations with Einstein's blip

    Dominik, M., 13 Aug 2010, In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. A, Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences . 368, 1924, p. 3535-3550 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  • Studying planet populations by gravitational microlensing

    Dominik, M., Sep 2010, In: General Relativity and Gravitation. 42, 9, p. 2075-2100 26 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  • Realisation of a fully-deterministic microlensing observing strategy for inferring planet populations

    Dominik, M., Jorgensen, U. G., Rattenbury, N. J., Mathiasen, M., Hinse, T. C., Calchi Novati, S., Harpsoe, K., Bozza, V., Anguita, T., Burgdorf, M. J., Horne, K., Hundertmark, M., Kerins, E., Kjaergaard, P., Liebig, C., Mancini, L., Masi, G., Rahvar, S., Ricci, D., Scarpetta, G., Snodgrass, C., Southworth, J., Street, R. A., Surdej, J., Thone, C. C., Tsapras, Y., Wambsganss, J. & Zub, M., Aug 2010, In: Astronomische Nachrichten. 331, 7, p. 671-691 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Frequency of solar-like systems and of ice and gas giants beyond the snow line from high-magnification microlensing events in 2005-2008

    Gould, A., Dong, S., Gaudi, B. S., Udalski, A., Bond, I. A., Greenhill, J., Street, R. A., Dominik, M., Sumi, T., Szymanski, M. K., Han, C., Allen, W., Bolt, G., Bos, M., Christie, G. W., DePoy, D. L., Drummond, J., Eastman, J. D., Gal-Yam, A., Higgins, D., Janczak, J., Kaspi, S., Kozlowski, S., Lee, C. -U., Mallia, F., Maury, A., Maoz, D., McCormick, J., Monard, L. A. G., Moorhouse, D., Morgan, N., Natusch, T., Ofek, E. O., Park, B. -G., Pogge, R. W., Polishook, D., Santallo, R., Shporer, A., Spector, O., Thornley, G., Yee, J. C., Kubiak, M., Pietrzynski, G., Soszynski, I., Szewczyk, O., Wyrzykowski, E., Kains, N., Pedretti, E., Horne, K. D., Liebig, C. E. & RoboNet Collaboration, MiNDSTEp Consortium, MOA Collaboration, OGLE Collaboration, PLANET Collaboration, FUN Collaboration, 10 Sep 2010, In: Astrophysical Journal. 720, 2, p. 1073-1089 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • High-precision photometry by telescope defocusing - III. The transiting planetary system WASP-2 star

    Southworth, J., Mancini, L., Calchi Novati, S., Dominik, M., Glitrup, M., Hinse, T. C., Jorgensen, U. G., Mathiasen, M., Ricci, D., Maier, G., Zimmer, F., Bozza, V., Browne, P., Bruni, I., Burgdorf, M., Dall'Ora, M., Finet, F., Harpsoe, K., Hundertmark, M., Liebig, C., Rahvar, S., Scarpetta, G., Skottfelt, J., Smalley, B., Snodgrass, C. & Surdej, J., 1 Nov 2010, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 408, 3, p. 1680-1688 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

 

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