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Michael C. Liu
Astronomer
Institute for Astronomy [Maps]
University of Hawai'i

2680 Woodlawn Drive
Honolulu, HI 96822
1 808 956 6666 (office)
1 808 956 4532 (FAX)
mliu "at" ifa.hawaii.edu (email)

My current research focuses on understanding the physical nature and origin of substellar objects, i.e. brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets. The last decade has witnessed a revolution in astronomy with the discovery of these long-sought objects. I am interested in direct observational studies to probe their formation mechanism(s) and to understand the plausible diversity of planetary systems. From a technical perspective, my research employs optical, infrared, and sub-mm instrumentation, with a particular interest in high spatial resolution techniques such as adaptive optics.

My research is supported by the NSF, NASA, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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Biographical Sketch

I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. I did my undergraduate degree at Cornell University, and the frigid winters there drove me to sunny UC Berkeley for my doctorate work. I then completed my westward migration by moving to the idyllic University of Hawaii, first as Beatrice Watson Parrent Fellow and then Hubble Fellow, before joining the faculty.

Curriculum Vitae: Postscript PDF

Research Interests (read more here)

  • Star and planet formation
  • Brown dwarfs
  • Galaxy formation and evolution
  • Extragalactic distance scale
  • Stellar populations
  • Adaptive optics
  • Infrared astronomy and instrumentation

Current Research Group and Associates (circa 2012)

Past Members and Associates (incomplete, current status circa 2012)

Selected publications

  • First Dynamical Mass Measurement for a Binary T Dwarf [press page] [preprint]
    M. Liu, T. Dupuy & M. Ireland 2008, ApJ, 689, 436
  • A Novel  T Dwarf Binary Found with Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics and the Potential Role of Binarity in the L/T Transition [press page]
    M. Liu, S. Leggett, D. Golimowski, K. Chiu et al. 2006, ApJ, in press
  • Kelu-1 is a Binary L Dwarf: First Brown Dwarf Science from Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics
    M. Liu & S. Leggett 2005, ApJ, 636, 616
  • Substructure in the Circumstellar Disk around the Young Star AU Microscopii [press page]
    M. Liu, 2004, Science, 305, 1442
  • A Submillimeter Search of Nearby Young Stars for Cold Dust: Discovery of Debris Disks around Two Low-Mass Stars [press page]
    M. Liu, B. Matthews, J. Williams & P. Kalas 2004, ApJ, 608, 526
  • A Survey for Circumstellar Disks around Young Substellar Objects [web page]
    M. Liu, J. Najita, & A. Tokunaga 2003, ApJ, 585, 372
  • Discovery of a Methane Dwarf from the IfA Deep Survey [web page]
    M. Liu, R. Wainscoat, E. Martin, B. Barris & J. Tonry 2002, ApJL, 568, 107
  • Crossing the Brown Dwarf Desert with Adaptive Optics: A Very Close L-Dwarf Companion to the Nearby Solar Analog HR 7672 [web page] [press page]
    M. Liu, D. Fischer, J. Graham, J. Lloyd, G. Marcy & P. Butler 2002, ApJ, 571, 519
  • Surface Brightness Fluctuations of Fornax Cluster Ellipticals: Calibration of Infrared SBFs and Evidence for Recent Star Formation
    M. Liu, J. Graham & S. Charlot 2002, ApJ, 564, 216
  • IR Surface Brightness Fluctuations of the Coma Elliptical NGC 4874 and the Value of the Hubble Constant
    M. Liu & J. Graham 2001, ApJL, 557, L31
  • Two Substellar Companions Orbiting HD 168443
    G. Marcy, P. Butler, S. Vogt, M. Liu, G. Laughlin, et al. 2001, ApJ, 555, 418
  • Theoretical Predictions for Surface Brightness Fluctuations and Implications for Stellar Populations of Elliptical Galaxies
    M. Liu, S. Charlot, & J. Graham 2000, ApJ, 543, 644
  • Extremely Red Objects in the Field of QSO 1213-0017: A Galaxy Concentration at z = 1.31
    M. Liu, A. Dey, J. Graham, K. Bundy, C. Steidel, et al. 2000, AJ, 119, 2556

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Last modified on November 29, 2006