Astronomer receives Humboldt Research Fellowship

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Louise H. Good, (808) 956-9403
Media Contact, Institute for Astronomy
Dr. Nader Haghighipour
Associate Astronomer, Institute for Astronomy
Posted: Mar 6, 2012

Nader Haghighipour
Nader Haghighipour

Dr. Nader Haghighipour, an associate astronomer at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Institute for Astronomy, has received a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers to work on planets in binary star systems. As part of that award, he will spend 2013 in Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg and the University of Tuebingen.

Haghighipour received his doctorate in planetary dynamics in 1999 from University of Missouri-Columbia. After a series of postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Irvine, Northwestern University and Carnegie Institution of Washington, he joined the UH Mānoa Institute for Astronomy and the UH Mānoa astrobiology program in 2004.

He has been a member of NASA Astrobiology Institute since its creation in 1998, first through UCLA, then through Carnegie, and since 2004, through UH Mānoa.

Haghighipour researches the formation and detection of habitable planetary systems, including the detection of habitable planets in binary star systems. These are worlds with two suns like the planet Tatooine in the Star Wars movies. He also participates in studies of the origin of Earth’s water, including a collaboration to detect main-belt comets.

Haghighipour has edited a book about planets in binaries, and he is a member of the planet-binary working group of the Kepler Space Telescope, which is searching for habitable planets. 

The public is invited to hear Haghighipour give a talk entitled “The Quest for Habitable Planets” at the UH Mānoa Art Building auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on March 13 as part of the Frontiers of Astronomy Community Lecture Series. For more information, see

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, based in Bonn, Germany, promotes collaborations between German and non-German scientists and scholars.

In the past, IfA astronomers J. Patrick Henry, Rolf-Peter Kudritzki, Jeffrey Kuhn, and David Sanders have received Humboldt awards.

See also Potentially habitable planet found orbiting nearby star (press release) for more information about Haghighipour's work.

Founded in 1967, the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa conducts research into galaxies, cosmology, stars, planets, and the sun. Its faculty and staff are also involved in astronomy education, deep space missions, and in the development and management of the observatories on Haleakala and Mauna Kea.

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