Christopher Watson


  • Room 02.013 - New Physics

    United Kingdom


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am the head of the Exoplanet Group within the Astrophysics Research Centre in the School of Mathematics and Physics, as well as the Deputy Head of School. My research interests lie with discovering and characterising planets orbiting other stars - known as exoplanets. This work naturally attracts a lot of public and press attention, and has led to a number of global press releases over the years. As a result I have written expert articles for the BBC News, as well as filmed for BBC Horizon, as well as many recorded and live Radio and TV appearances across the UK, USA, and further afield.

My key interests lie with improving detection methods for 'weighing' exoplanets, in the push to confirming the first true (and so far, elusive!) 'Earth-analog' world outside our own solar system. In addition, I also dabble in characterising their atmospheres - and was recently part of a team that showed that it was possible with current techniques to find water in the atmospheres of super-Earths.

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Research Output

Chromospheric emission of solar-type stars with asteroseismic ages

Booth, R. S., Poppenhaeger, K., Watson, C. A., Silva Aguirre, V., Stello, D. & Bruntt, H., 01 Jan 2020, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 491, 1, p. 455-467

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 22 Downloads (Pure)

    NGTS-10b: The shortest period hot Jupiter yet discovered

    McCormac, J., Gillen, E., Jackman, J. A. G., Brown, D. J. A., Bayliss, D., Wheatley, P. J., West, R. G., Anderson, D. R., Armstrong, D. J., Bouchy, F., Briegal, J. T., Burleigh, M. R., Cabrera, J., Casewell, S. L., Chaushev, A., Chazelas, B., Chote, P., Cooke, B. F., Costes, J. C., Csizmadia, S. & 27 others, Eigmuller, P., Erikson, A., Foxell, E., Gaensicke, B. T., Goad, M. R., Gunther, M. N., Hodgkin, S. T., Hooton, M. J., Jenkins, J. S., Lambert, G., Lendl, M., Longstaff, E., Louden, T., Moyano, M., Nielsen, L. D., Pollacco, D., Queloz, D., Rauer, H., Raynard, L., Smith, A. M. S., Smalley, B., Soto, M., Turner, O., Udry, S., Vines, J. I., Walker, S. R. & Watson, C. A., 02 Feb 2020, (Accepted) In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • NGTS clusters survey. I. Rotation in the young benchmark open cluster Blanco 1

    Gillen, E., Briegal, J. T., Hodgkin, S. T., Foreman-Mackey, D., Van Leeuwen, F., Jackman, J. A. G., McCormac, J., West, R. G., Queloz, D., Bayliss, D., Goad, M. R., Watson, C. A., Wheatley, P. J., Belardi, C., Burleigh, M. R., Casewell, S. L., Jenkins, J. S., Raynard, L., Smith, A. M. S., Tilbrook, R. H. & 1 others, Vines, J. I., 08 Jan 2020, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 492, 1, p. 1008–1024

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 16 Downloads (Pure)

    Testing the Spectroscopic Extraction of Suppression of Convective Blueshift

    Miklos, M., Milbourne, T. W., Haywood, R. D., Phillips, D. F., Saar, S. H., Meunier, N., Cegla, H. M., Dumusque, X., Langellier, N., Maldonado, J., Malavolta, L., Mortier, A., Thompson, S., Watson, C. A., Cecconi, M., Cosentino, R., Ghedina, A., Li, C-H., López-Morales, M., Molinari, E. & 4 others, Poretti, E., Sasselov, D., Sozzetti, A. & Walsworth, R. L., 15 Jan 2020, In : The Astrophysical Journal. 888, 2, p. 117

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 10 Downloads (Pure)

    A giant impact as the likely origin of different twins in the Kepler-107 exoplanet system

    Bonomo, A. S., Zeng, L., Damasso, M., Leinhardt, Z. M., Justesen, A. B., Lopez, E., Lund, M. N., Malavolta, L., Silva Aguirre, V., Buchhave, L. A., Corsaro, E., Denman, T., Lopez-Morales, M., Mills, S. M., Mortier, A., Rice, K., Sozzetti, A., Vanderburg, A., Affer, L., Arentoft, T. & 32 others, Benbakoura, M., Bouchy, F., Christensen-Dalsgaard, J., Collier Cameron, A., Cosentino, R., Dressing, C. D., Dumusque, X., Figueira, P., Fiorenzano, A. F. M., García, R. A., Handberg, R., Harutyunyan, A., Johnson, J. A., Kjeldsen, H., Latham, D. W., Lovis, C., Lundkvist, M. S., Mathur, S., Mayor, M., Micela, G., Molinari, E., Motalebi, F., Nascimbeni, V., Nava, C., Pepe, F., Phillips, D. F., Piotto, G., Poretti, E., Sasselov, D., Ségransan, D., Udry, S. & Watson, C., 04 Feb 2019, In : Nature Astronomy. 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)
    66 Downloads (Pure)


    Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society

    Christopher Watson (Recipient), 2002

    Prize: Election to learned society

    Postdoctoral Fellowship

    Christopher Watson (Recipient), 2005

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively


    Science & Technology Facilities Council (External organisation)

    Christopher Watson (Member)
    01 Apr 2081 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

    Public Talk to the Irish Astronomical Association - "The Terra Hunting Experiment: Finding alien Earth-like worlds"

    Christopher Watson (Invited speaker)
    08 Jan 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar

    CoolStars 21 splinter session: "Characterising stellar activity in the era of extreme radial velocity surveys of low-mass planets orbiting F-M stars"

    Christopher Watson (Member of the organising committee)
    22 Jun 202026 Jun 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    International Space Science Institute - Towards Earth-like alien worlds: "Know thy star, know thy planet II"

    Christopher Watson (Organiser)
    09 Sep 201913 Sep 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    The path towards discovering Earth-like alien worlds

    Christopher Watson (Invited speaker)
    08 Oct 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


    Engaging the Public in Science and Increasing Awareness of Physics and Astronomy

    Alan Fitzsimmons (Participant), Samuel Duddy (Participant), Henry Hsieh (Participant), Stephen Smartt (Participant), Stephen Lowry (Participant), Heather Cegla (Participant), Sergiy Shelyag (Participant), Victoria Moulds (Participant), Michail Mathioudakis (Participant), Don Pollacco (Participant), John Burton (Participant), Christopher Watson (Participant)

    Impact: Societial Impact


    High Contrast Imaging: Exoplanet and Low Stellar Mass Populations

    Author: Durkan, S., Apr 2018

    Supervisor: Watson, C. A. (Supervisor) & Fitzsimmons, A. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Unearth: Revealing the Effects of Stellar Activity on Exoplanet Host Stars

    Author: Thompson, A. P. G., 2019

    Supervisor: Watson, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy