He is a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is known worldwide for designing and building HIRES, a high-resolution optical spectrometer mounted permanently on the W. M. Keck Observatory 10-meter telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. HIRES is an instrument critical to observations and discoveries about the planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe. Vogt also built the Hamilton spectrometer at Lick Observatory (with which most of the first extrasolar planets were discovered). In 1987, earlier in his career, Vogt invented the technique of "Doppler imaging" for mapping the surface features of stars.
Vogt is currently a member of the California-Carnegie Planet Search Team. This team is building a new telescope in the Lick Observatory, the Automated Planet Finder, expected to be the most powerful in the world for detecting extrasolar planets. It will be able to track planets moving at velocities as little as 1 meter per second (the speed of a walking man). Vogt and his team are credited with detecting a majority of the 100 planets now known.
^ abVogt, Steven S.; Butler, R. Paul; Rivera, Eugenio J.; Haghighipour, Nader; Henry, Gregory W.; Williamson, Michael H. (29 September 2010). "The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: A 3.1 M⊕ Planet in the Habitable Zone of the Nearby M3V Star Gliese 581". arXiv:1009.5733.