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 UT3 (Melipal), the home of SPHERE, X-SHOOTER, and CRIRES. I am a deputy instrument scientist within the SPHERE and ERIS Instrument Operation Teams.

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. 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
  2. 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
  3. De Rosa, R. J., Nguyen, M. M., Chilcote, J. et al. 2020: Revised Astrometric Calibration of the Gemini Planet Imager, JATIS, 6a, 5006
  4. De Rosa, R. J., Nielsen, E. L., Wang, J. J. et al. 2020: An updated visual orbit of the directly-imaged exoplanet 51 Eridani b and prospects for a dynamical mass measurement with Gaia, AJ, 159, 1
  5. Nielsen, E. L., De Rosa, R. J., Macintosh, B. et al. 2019: The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey: Giant Planet and Brown Dwarf Demographics from 10 to 100 au, AJ, 158, 13

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