Jacob Bean conducts observational studies of planets beyond our solar system with ground- and space-based telescopes, including the Hubble, Magellan and Gemini telescopes. He is particularly interested in studying planets around low-mass stars and in probing the atmospheres of the smallest known exoplanets. Early in his career, he helped characterize the atmosphere of a super-Earth planet orbiting another star for the first time. The work was an important milestone on the road to identifying potentially habitable, Earth-like planets beyond our solar system.
Assoc. Prof. Bean was also part of a team of scientists that used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to create a map that provides information about the thermal structure and atmosphere of an exoplanet. The findings provide insight into atmospheric dynamics and the formation of giant planets like Jupiter. Bean has received the Sagan Fellowship, Marie Curie International Fellowship, Sloan Research Fellowship, and Packard Fellowship.