About Me

I am an Operations Staff Astronomer working at ESO with duties at the Parnal Observatory, Chile. I graduated with a PhD in Physics from the University of Exeter, UK in 2012 after which I spent seven years in the U.S. before moving to Chile and joining the ESO astronomy faculty at the end of 2019.

Functional Work

My main duties are on UT4 (Yepun), the home of ERIS, MUSE, and HAWKI-I. I am instrument scientist for ERIS, and deputy instrument scientist for SPHERE.

Research Interests

I am an observational astronomer with an interest in extrasolar planets, brown dwarfs, and binary stars. My main focus is using high contrast imaging instruments in conjunction with adaptive optics to directly image wide-orbit gas giant planets around nearby young stars.

Direct detection offers a unique oppertunity to study the properties and formation histories of planets on orbital periods analagous to the gas giants within our own solar system. We can characterize the atmospheres of these objects using photometry and spectroscopy, measure their masses using astrometry and radial velocities, and determine their frequency with large-scale surveys. And while we have not yet imaged a true Jupiter analog, we may only be a few years away given the upcoming launch of the Webb and Roman space telescopes.

I am also interested in understanding the architectures of planetary systems, in particular using measurements from the Gaia satellite to measure significant misalignments between wide-orbit gas giants and their inner planetary systems.

Student Projects

There are several internal oppertunities to fund either Chilean or international students to work at ESO at the undergraduate and graduate level. Don’t hessitate to contact me if you are interested and share similar research interests.


Some recent publications:

  1. De Rosa, R. J., Nielsen, E. L., Wahhaj, Z. et al. 2023: Direct imaging discovery of a super-Jovian around the young Sun-like star AF Leporis, A&A, 672, 94
  2. Escorza, A. & De Rosa, R. J. 2023: Barium and related stars, and their white-dwarf companion. III. The masses of the white dwrafs, A&A, 671, 97
  3. Ma, Y., De Rosa, R. J., Kalas, P. 2022: Search for Stellar Flybys in the Sco-Cen OB Association with the Gaia DR2, AJ, 163, 219
  4. Nguyen, M. M., De Rosa, R. J., Kalas, P. G. 2021: First detection of orbital motion for HD 106906 b: A wide-separation exoplanet on a Planet Nine-like orbit, AJ, 161, 22
  5. De Rosa, R. J., Dawson, R., Nielsen, E. L. 2020: A significant mutual inclination between the planets within the π Mensae system, AJ, 640, 73

A full list of my publications is on my CV, or available through the NASA ADS service.