MIT Kavli Institute Directory

Chelsea Huang

Torres Postdoctoral Fellow Postdoctoral Scholar

Xu (Chelsea) Huang received her PhD in astronomy & astrophysics from Princeton University in 2015. Her PhD thesis was on "Synergies of ground and space based Transit Surveys", supervised by Professor Gaspar Bakos. She was the Dunlap/CPS fellow in the University of Toronto in 2016. Now she is a Torres Fellow working on the detection and characterization of transiting exoplanets.    

Research interests: 

Chelsea has a broad range of research interests. She developed many tools to achieve state of art photometry precision, and detect transiting planets from ground (HATNet) and space (Kepler/K2) based transit survey data. She also developed software tools to characterize the gravity darkening signal and oblateness signal in the Kepler light curves. She is interested to understand the stars themselves as well. She was a key contributor to revise the age of Hyades using stellar Isochron taken into account rotational effect.

Recently, she is interested in study statistics of planets from her detections. She is especially interested in the relation between giant planets and small planets. She identified that Warm Jupiter to be a unique population of giant planets to be coexists with super Earth companions.

She will devote a significant amount of her time at MIT in preparation for the TESS mission. She is working as a main contributor for the TESS full frame image photometry, planet detection and data validation pipeline.  

Representative publications: 

Ohmic Dissipation in the Interiors of Hot Jupiters  (

150 new transiting planet candidates from Kepler Q1-Q6 data(

High-precision photometry for K2 Campaign 1 (

Warm Jupiters Are Less Lonely than Hot Jupiters: Close Neighbors

Honors and awards: 

Torres Fellowship, MIT, 2017
Dunlap-CPS Fellow, University of Toronto, 2016

Contact Information

t: 617-324-6374
e: xuhuang@MIT.EDU


Research Areas


B.S., Physics, Peking University, China, 2010; PhD, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Princeton, US, 2015