Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Christopher C Stark

(Rsch AST, Stlr Galctic&Xtrgltc Astr)


Org Code: 667

Mail Code: 667
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: NASA

Brief Bio

2013 - Present: NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Lab
2010 - 2013: Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Department of Terrestrial Magnetism
2006 - 2009: NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellow

Research Interests

Debris Disks and Exoplanets

Astrophysics: Extrasolar planets

Detecting debris disks, constraining disk composition and structure to determine the nature of unseen planets and planetesimals, planning for future exoplanet imaging missions.

Current Projects

ALMA Cycle 2: "Confirming the Recent Collisional Destruction of an Extra-Solar Pluto"

PI: Christopher Stark

HST Cycle 22 GO: "Decoding Debris System Substructures: Imprints of Planets/Planetesimals and Signatures of Extrinsic Influences on Material in Ring-Like Disks"

PI: Glenn Schneider

Spitzer Cycle 10: "SpiKeS: Spitzer Kepler Survey"

PI: Michael Werner

HST Cycle 21 Theory: "SMACK: A New Tool for Modeling Debris Disks"

PI: Marc Kuchner

Spitzer Cycle 9: "Small SpiKeS: Small Spitzer Kepler Survey"

PI: Michael Werner

2011 NASA Explorer Program: "EXCEDE: EXoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer"

PI: Glenn Schneider

HST Cycle 19 GO: "Imaging Disk-Planet Interactions in the Beta Pictoris Disk"

PI: Daniel Apai

HST Cycle 18 GO: "Probing for Exoplanets Hiding in Dusty Debris Disks: Inner (<10 AU) Disk Imaging, Characterizing, and Exploration"

PI: Glenn Schneider

2010 Planetary Geology and Geophysics: "Dynamical Models of the Zodiacal Cloud with Grain-Grain Collisions"

PI: Marc Kuchner


2010: Ph.D., Physics, University of Maryland
         Thesis Title: "Decoding Images of Debris Disks"
         Advisor: Marc Kuchner
2004: B.S., Physics, University of Northern Iowa


2013: NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship
2010: Carnegie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
2009: NASA Astrophysics Science Division Peer Award
2009: AAS DPS Hartman Travel Grant
2006: NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellowship
2007: AAS DDA Student Stipend Award
2004 & 2006: U. of Northern Iowa Alumni Merchant Scholarship
2004: U. of Northern Iowa Purple & Old Gold Award for Meritorious Achievement in Physics
2003: U. of Nebraska Materials Research Science & Engineering Center Fellowship
2002: U. of Northern Iowa McKay Science, Math, and Technology Scholarship
2001: U. of Northern Iowa Science Symposium Physics Scholarship
1999: Eagle Scout Award

Talks, Presentations and Posters


STScI Star & Planet Formation Seminar

September 2014

Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop Hands-On Session

August 2014

"On the Shoulders of Giants: Planets Beyond the Reach of Kepler" AAS Meeting-in-a-Meeting

August 2014

JPL Astrophysics Colloquium

August 2014

AURA Beyond JWST Committee Meeting

February 2014

STScI Star & Planet Formation Seminar

December 2013


December 2013

U. of Northern Iowa Physics Colloquium

May 2013

NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group

July 2011

NASA GSFC Signposts of Planets Workshop

May 2011

NASA GSFC Computational Astrophysics Seminar


Lorentz Center Advanced School and Workshop on Computational Gravitational Dynamics

June 2010

ISSI 2nd Exozodiacal Dust Disks and Darwin Meeting

May 2009

ISSI Exozodiacal Dust Disks and Darwin Meeting

September 2007


National Capital Area Disks Meeting 5

August 2014

 STScI Habitable Worlds Across Time & Space

May 2014


ATLAST Team Meeting

May 2014

NASA GSFC Exoplanet Club

March 2014

223rd AAS Meeting

February 2014

 International Astronomical Union Symposium 299

July 2013


221st AAS Meeting

February 2013

National Capital Area Disks Meeting

August 2012

NASA GSFC Extrasolar Planets Seminar

October 2011

 Gordon Research Conference

August 2011


Carnegie DTM Seminar

July 2011

218th AAS Meeting

June 2011

Carnegie DTM Astronomy Group Meeting

November 2010

215th AAS Meeting

February 2010

Harvard-Smithsonian CfA Solar, Stellar, & Planetary Sciences Seminar

December 2009

U. of Maryland Planetary Astronomy Lunch Series

November 2009

41st AAS DPS Meeting

November 2009

Princeton University Wunch Talk

October 2009

National Capital Area Disks Meeting

February 2009

STScI Star & Planet Formation Seminar

February 2009

213th AAS Meeting

February 2009

NASA GSRP Fellowship Symposium

October 2008

Exoplanet Forum

June 2008

National Capital Area Disks Meeting


The Spirit of Lyot Meeting

July 2007

38th AAS DDA Meeting

June 2007

U. of Maryland Unjournal Club

May 2007

NASA GSFC Exoplanet Club

April 2007

Nearby Resolved Debris Disks Workshop

November 2005



Schneider, G., C. A. Grady, D. C. Hines, et al. C. C. Stark, J. H. Debes, J. Carson, M. J. Kuchner, M. D. Perrin, A. J. Weinberger, J. P. Wisniewski, M. D. Silverstone, H. Jang-Condell, T. Henning, B. E. Woodgate, E. Serabyn, A. Moro-Martin, M. Tamura, P. M. Hinz, and T. J. Rodigas. 2014. Probing for Exoplanets Hiding in Dusty Debris Disks: Disk Imaging, Characterization, and Exploration with HST/STIS Multi-Roll Coronagraphy ArXiv e-prints arXiv:1406.7303

Stark, C. C., G. Schneider, A. J. Weinberger, et al. J. H. Debes, C. A. Grady, H. Jang-Condell, and M. J. Kuchner. 2014. Revealing Asymmetries in the HD 181327 Debris Disk: A Recent Massive Collision or Interstellar Medium Warping The Astrophysical Journal 789 58 [10.1088/0004-637X/789/1/58]

Jackson, B., C. C. Stark, E. R. Adams, J. Chambers, and D. Deming. 2013. A Survey for Very Short-period Planets in the Kepler Data The Astrophysical Journal 779 165 [10.1088/0004-637X/779/2/165]

Stark, C. C., A. P. Boss, A. J. Weinberger, et al. B. K. Jackson, M. Endl, W. D. Cochran, M. Johnson, C. Caldwell, E. Agol, E. B. Ford, J. R. Hall, K. A. Ibrahim, and J. Li. 2013. A Search for Exozodiacal Clouds with Kepler The Astrophysical Journal 764 195 [10.1088/0004-637X/764/2/195]

Defrere, D., C. Stark, K. Cahoy, and I. Beerer. 2012. Direct imaging of exoEarths embedded in clumpy debris disks Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series 8442 [10.1117/12.926324]

Mennesson, B., R. Millan-Gabet, M. M. Colavita, et al. E. Serabyn, P. Hinz, M. Kuchner, W. Liu, R. Barry, C. Stark, S. Ragland, J. Woillez, W. Traub, O. Absil, D. Defrere, J. C. Augereau, and J. Lebreton. 2012. Keck Interferometer Nuller science highlights Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series 8445 [10.1117/12.926548]

Debes, J. H., K. J. Walsh, and C. Stark. 2012. The Link between Planetary Systems, Dusty White Dwarfs, and Metal-polluted White Dwarfs The Astrophysical Journal 747 148 [10.1088/0004-637X/747/2/148]

Reidemeister, M., A. V. Krivov, C. C. Stark, et al. J.-C. Augereau, T. Lohne, and S. Muller. 2011. The cold origin of the warm dust around ε Eridani Astronomy and Astrophysics 527 A57 [10.1051/0004-6361/201015328]

Millan-Gabet, R., E. Serabyn, B. Mennesson, et al. W. A. Traub, R. K. Barry, W. C. Danchi, M. Kuchner, C. C. Stark, S. Ragland, M. Hrynevych, J. Woillez, K. Stapelfeldt, G. Bryden, M. M. Colavita, and A. J. Booth. 2011. Exozodiacal Dust Levels for Nearby Main-sequence Stars: A Survey with the Keck Interferometer Nuller The Astrophysical Journal 734 67 [10.1088/0004-637X/734/1/67]

Stark, C. C. 2011. The Transit Light Curve of an Exozodiacal Dust Cloud

Defrere, D., O. Absil, R. den Hartog, C. Hanot, and C. Stark. 2010. Nulling interferometry: impact of exozodiacal clouds on the performance of future life-finding space missions Astronomy and Astrophysics 509 A9 [10.1051/0004-6361/200912973]

Defrere, D., O. Absil, R. den Hartog, C. Hanot, and C. Stark. 2010. Influence of Exozodiacal Dust Clouds on Mid-IR Earth-like Planet Detection Pathways Towards Habitable Planets 430 422

Kuchner, M. J., and C. C. Stark. 2010. Collisional Grooming Models of the Kuiper Belt Dust Cloud The Astronomical Journal 140 1007 [10.1088/0004-6256/140/4/1007]

Stark, C. C., M. J. Kuchner, W. A. Traub, et al. J. D. Monnier, E. Serabyn, M. Colavita, C. Koresko, B. Mennesson, and L. D. Keller. 2009. 51 Ophiuchus: A Possible Beta Pictoris Analog Measured with the Keck Interferometer Nuller The Astrophysical Journal 703 1188 [10.1088/0004-637X/703/2/1188]

Stark, C. C., and M. J. Kuchner. 2009. A New Algorithm for Self-consistent Three-dimensional Modeling of Collisions in Dusty Debris Disks The Astrophysical Journal 707 543 [10.1088/0004-637X/707/1/543]

Stark, C. C., and M. J. Kuchner. 2008. The Detectability of Exo-Earths and Super-Earths Via Resonant Signatures in Exozodiacal Clouds The Astrophysical Journal 686 637 [10.1086/591442]