Thomas Esposito

Thomas Esposito

Research Assistant

Disciplines: Exoplanet Detection

Degree/Major: Ph.D. Astronomy

Curriculum vitae: Esposito_cv_01-2021_seti.pdf

Tom Esposito is a SETI research assistant focused on the architecture and evolution of exoplanetary systems. He currently leads a program working with citizen astronomers in the Unistellar network to observe transiting exoplanets as a means to engage members with astronomy while helping to confirm newly discovered giant planets and to more effectively plan future observations that will tell us about their atmospheres and origins. As an assistant researcher at UC Berkeley, he studies the arrangements of young solar systems through direct imaging of their circumstellar debris disks– rings of dust and ice that trace the collisions between orbiting pebbles, boulders, and planetesimals as they interact with newly formed/forming planets. All of his work depends heavily on developing methods and writing code (mostly Python) to process and analyze astronomical images & models.

Tom grew up on Long Island in NY, enjoying some of the best beaches in the world. He then got his undergraduate degree in physics from Georgetown University, also studying briefly in Milan, Italy. After earning his Ph.D. in astronomy from UCLA in Los Angeles, he moved up the California coast to his current home in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.

In his abundant free time, Tom's favorite things to do are play soccer (shout out to the Flying Pigs!), travel & scuba dive with his wife, Katie, and garden.


Google scholar:

Popular media: 

High-def images show planetary construction sites around nearby stars:

Rogue's gallery of dusty star systems reveals exoplanet nursery, Berkeley News:

Honors and recognitions: Debris disk images featured as one of "Nature's Best Science Images" for June 2020:

Links: Personal website:

UC Berkeley profile: