Research, Teaching, and Outreach

I am an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research with an expertise in exoplanet detection, planet formation, and planetary habitability. As a Team Leader of ESA's upcoming PLATO mission I coordinate the generation of the PLATO input sub-catalogs and the development of the Data Analysis Support Tools of the mission. In my research time, I led a search for extrasolar planets in the large data set from NASA's Kepler mission, in which we found dozens of new planets. I am an Elected Member of the Organizing Committee of the International Astronomical Union Commission F2 "Exoplanets and the Solar System". These are some of my publication highlights:

At the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research I supervise bachelor, master, and PhD students. At the University of Göttingen I give lectures in astrophysics, like the "Astronomie für Studierende aller Fakultäten" (details: UniVZ, registration: StudIP, award: Received Robert-Wichard-Pohl Medal). My podcast "Astronomie & Astrophysik" is available on iTunes.


News

2024/Feb/15: Public talk to launch the public lecture series "Was ist da draußen?" (What is out there?) at the MPI for Solar System Research

2024/Jan/03: Research paper on the end-to-end camera simulator PLATOSim for the PLATO mission of ESA (Jannsen et al. 2024, A&A)

2023/Dec/07: Research paper "Large exomoons unlikely around Kepler-1625 b and Kepler-1708 b" (Heller & Hippke 2024, Nature Astronomy)

2023/Sep/26: Status talk on the development of the Data Analysis Support Tools for the PLATO mission (SOC-PMC meeting in Warwick)

2023/Sep/14: Conference talk "Large Exomoons unlikely around Kepler-1625 b and Kepler-1708 b" at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, TU Berlin

2023/Feb/28: Interview with the BILD-Zeitung, the best-selling European newspaper, on the hunt for extrasolar planets with the PLATO mission


PD Dr. René Heller

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3
37077 Göttingen
Germany

phone: (0049) 551 - 384 979 252
e-mail: heller[AT]mps.mpg.de
twitter: @DrReneHeller
Hypothetical exomoons about Kepler-22b last update: 24 March 2024