Gerard van Belle, Astronomer
Gerard’s research concentrates on the fundamental properties of stars — masses, linear radii, and temperatures. These parameters tell us about the internal structure and evolution of stars, which in turn is essential in understanding the plethora of new planets being discovered about nearby stars. He has also applied his interests in the highest-resolution, highest-precision, astronomical techniques to detect such planets and map the surfaces of stars.
Gerard has worked on every major optical interferometer on the planet, including the Infrared-Optical Telescope Array, the Palomar Testbed Interferometer, the CHARA Array, the Very Large Telescope Interferometer, and the Keck Interferometer. His pioneering stellar surface imaging work on PTI won him the first director’s research award at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.