Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Eric R Christian

(Associate Chief)

Eric R Christian's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.286.2919
Org Code: 672
Mail Code 672
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Missions & Projects

Brief Bio

Dr. Eric Christian is a Senior Research Scientist and Associate Lab Chief in the Heliospheric Laboratory (Code 672) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and the lead scientist for the Energetic Particle Laboratory. He is the Deputy Principal Investigator for the Integrated Scientific Investigation of the Sun (IS0IS) instrument suite on the Parker Solar Probe mission, and also Deputy Principal Investigator for the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission. He is Mission Scientist for the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) and Project Scientist for the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE). He is an Instrument Scientist for the CRIS and SIS instruments on ACE and the lead Co-I for the HET instrument on STEREO, which is part of the IMPACT suite, and the lead Co-I for the HIT instrument on IMAP.

Between 2002 and 2008, Dr. Christian worked at NASA Headquarters as the Program Scientist for a number of missions, including the two Voyager spacecraft.

He has been active in NASA Education and Public Outreach for his entire career. Dr. Christian has a BA in Physics (Honors) and Astronomy from the University of Pennsylvania (1982) and a PhD in Physics from the California Institute of Technology (1989).

Research Interests

Acceleration of Energetic Particles

Astrophysics: Cosmic Rays

Eric Christian's scientific interests are the origin of energetic particles (galactic cosmic rays, anomalous cosmic rays, solar energetic particles, and energetic neutral atoms) and the design, construction, integration and test, and data analysis of particle detectors. 

Selected Publications


2020. "Small Electron Events Observed by Parker Solar Probe/IS⊙IS during Encounter 2." The Astrophysical Journal 902 (1): 20 [10.3847/1538-4357/abb2a4] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Energetic Particle Increases Associated with Stream Interaction Regions." The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 246 (2): 20 [10.3847/1538-4365/ab4c38] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Solar Wind Streams and Stream Interaction Regions Observed by the Parker Solar Probe with Corresponding Observations at 1 au." The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 246 (2): 36 [10.3847/1538-4365/ab578f] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Comparing Long-duration Gamma-Ray Flares and High-energy Solar Energetic Particles." The Astrophysical Journal 879 (2): 90 [Full Text] [] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "High-resolution measurements of the cross-shock potential, ion reflection, and electron heating at an interplanetary shock by MMS." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 124 (6): 3961-3978 [10.1029/2018ja026197] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Spectral Analysis of the September 2017 Solar Energetic Particle Events." Space Weather [10.1029/2018sw002085] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Solar Energetic Particle Events Observed by the PAMELA Mission." The Astrophysical Journal 862 (2): 97 [10.3847/1538-4357/aacc26] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Geomagnetically trapped, albedo and solar energetic particles: trajectory analysis and flux reconstruction with PAMELA." Advances in Space Research 60 (4): 788-795 [10.1016/j.asr.2016.06.042] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "PAMELA’S MEASUREMENTS OF MAGNETOSPHERIC EFFECTS ON HIGH-ENERGY SOLAR PARTICLES." The Astrophysical Journal 801 (1): L3 [10.1088/2041-8205/801/1/l3] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "EVIDENCE FOR LOCAL ACCELERATION OF SUPRATHERMAL HEAVY ION OBSERVATIONS DURING INTERPLANETARY CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS." The Astrophysical Journal 799 (1): 57 [10.1088/0004-637x/799/1/57] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Simulations of plasma obeying Coulomb's law and the formation of suprathermal ion tails in the solar wind." JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS 119 [10.1002/2014JA020095] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Global Anisotropies in TeV Cosmic Rays Related to the Sun's Local Galactic Environment from IBEX." SCIENCE 343 988-990 [10.1126/science.1245026] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "> 25 MeV Proton Events Observed by the High Energy Telescopes on the STEREO A and B Spacecraft and/or at Earth During the First similar to aEuro parts per thousand Seven Years of the STEREO Mission." SOLAR PHYSICS 289 3059-3107 [10.1007/s11207-014-0524-8] [Journal Article/Letter]



2013. "The Hohmann-Parker effect measured by the Mars Science Laboratory on the transfer from Earth to Mars: Consequences and opportunities." PLANETARY AND SPACE SCIENCE 89 127-139 [10.1016/j.pss.2013.09.013] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "The Hohmann–Parker effect measured by the Mars Science Laboratory on the transfer from Earth to Mars: Consequences and opportunities." Planetary and Space Science 89 127-139 [10.1016/j.pss.2013.09.013] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Plasma ion composition measurements for Europa." Planetary and Space Science 88 26-41 [10.1016/j.pss.2013.01.013] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Extraordinary Matter: Visualizing Space Plasmas and Particles." Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach 443 211- [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa, Ganymede, and the Jovian System." EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011 1747- [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Separation of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer Ribbon from Globally Distributed Energetic Neutral Atom Flux." The Astrophysical Journal 731 56 [Full Text] [10.1088/0004-637X/731/1/56] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Evidence for the OB Association Origin of Galactic Cosmic Rays." Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 42 705- [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "The STEREO Mission: An Introduction." Space Science Reviews 136 5-16 [10.1007/s11214-007-9277-0] [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "NIGHTGLOW: an instrument to measure the Earth’s nighttime ultraviolet glow—results from the first engineering flight." Astroparticle Physics 22 439 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.astropartphys.2004.10.002] [Journal Article/Letter]

2003. "Ion irradiation of TNOs: from the fluxes measured in space to the laboratory experiments." Comptes Rendus Physique 4 (7): 791-801 [10.1016/j.crhy.2003.10.009] [Journal Article/Letter]

2003. "Proton Irradiation of Centaur, Kuiper Belt, and Oort Cloud Objects at Plasma to Cosmic Ray Energy." Earth, Moon, and Planets 92 (1-4): 261-277 [10.1023/b:moon.0000031944.41883.80] [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "Variability of spectra in large solar energetic particle events." 34th COSPAR Scientific Assembly 34 [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "Space Weathering of Comets in the Outer Heliosphere and Beyond." 34th COSPAR Scientific Assembly 34 [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "Time Variations in Elemental Abundances Observed in Solar Energetic Particle Events." 34th COSPAR Scientific Assembly 34 - [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "Isotopic Fractionation in Large Solar Particle Events." 34th COSPAR Scientific Assembly 34 - [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "Time Variations in Elemental Abundances in Solar Energetic Particle Events." AGU Spring Meeting Abstracts A10- [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "The PAMELA experiment on satellite and its capability in cosmic rays measurements." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A 478 114 [Full Text] [10.1016/S0168-9002(01)01726-0] [Journal Article/Letter]

2001. "Modulation of galactic and anomalous cosmic rays (Oral papers and posters which were given at the conference, but for which no manuscripts were submitted)." The Outer Heliosphere: The Next Frontiers 228- [Journal Article/Letter]

2001. "Variability of Energetic 3He in the Inner Heliosphere." AGU Spring Meeting Abstracts 62- [Journal Article/Letter]

2001. "The PAMELA experiment in space." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A 461 262 [Full Text] [10.1016/S0168-9002(00)01221-3] [Journal Article/Letter]

2000. "The Absolute Flux of Protons and Helium at the Top of the Atmosphere Using IMAX." The Astrophysical Journal 533 281 [Full Text] [10.1086/308645] [Journal Article/Letter]

1998. "Heliospheric cosmic ray irradiation of Kuiper Belt comets." Advances in Space Research 21 (11): 1611-1614 [10.1016/s0273-1177(97)00956-3] [Journal Article/Letter]

1995. "Polar rain entry of galactic electrons into the inner heliosphere?." Space Science Reviews 72 (1-2): 415-418 [10.1007/bf00768814] [Journal Article/Letter]