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Planet Formation Imager

Buscher is Project Architect for a new instrument which proposes to image for the first time planetary systems in the process of formation on the scales relevant to seeing the formation processes in action. The Planet Formation Imager (www.planetformationimager.org) is the focus of a group of more than 100 scientists and engineers worldwide who are putting together the scientific projections and the technical specification for this ambitious instrument. The Cambridge Exoplanet Research Centre is deeply involved in both the technical side of this mission and in the scientific planning. Studying planet formation around other stars will enable us to answer many questions about how planetary systems like our own, and those entirely unlike our own, came into being, and help unravel the early history of these systems. This can only be achieved by opening new observational windows to directly witness planet formation as it happens, and this is what the Planet Formation Imager is poised to do over the next decades.