Professor of Observational astrophysics
Ignas Snellen is a Full Professor at Leiden University. His main area of research is extrasolar planets.
Ignas Snellen is Professor in Astronomy at Leiden University. After concluding his PhD research in Leiden in 1997, he worked for three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, after which he became an astronomy lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. He returned to Leiden University in 2004.
His main area of research is extrasolar planets. Snellen's group develops observation and data-reduction techniques for ground-based telescopes, particularly geared to be used for the future extremely large telescopes (ELT). Important successes have been reached using high-dispersion spectroscopy, in which the planet light is separated from the much brighter starlight using its unique spectral features combined with time-differential and/or spatial separation techniques - techniques often developed in his team.
Snellen's team has also developed a new camera-system to find the brightest transiting planets in the sky, MASCARA, of which the first system is operational on La Palma.