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Fellows Directory

Max Pettini

Max Pettini

Professor Max Pettini FRS


Elected: 2010


Max Pettini is an observational astronomer who studies interstellar matter in a variety of cosmic environments. His early research provided the first evidence for — and verified an earlier prediction of — the presence of a halo of hot ionised gas surrounding our galaxy.

His studies have focused mainly on high redshift galaxies and the intergalactic medium: he is particularly interested in studying the chemical composition of gas in these distant systems with a view to unravelling their origin and evolution. To pursue this research, he has been involved in the development and exploitation of high-resolution spectrographs on some of the world's major optical and infrared telescopes.

Max has received a number of accolades in recognition of his work, including the Herschel Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2008.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics
    • Astronomy
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