Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Ernest T Wright



Org Code: 606.4

Mail Code: 606.4
Greenbelt, MD 20771


Brief Bio

As a programmer and animator in the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA Goddard, Ernie collaborates with scientists, communicators, educators, and his studio colleagues to translate NASA science data into visual stories. He works primarily with data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been mapping the Moon from lunar orbit since 2009. He designed, programmed, and renders Dial-a-Moon, an annual high-fidelity visualization of the phase and libration of the Moon for the coming year. His work has shed new light on questions in the history of science and space exploration, including Ptolemy's star catalog, Galileo's first telescopic observations of the Moon, the Apollo 8 Earthrise photograph, and Apollo 13's view of the far side of the Moon. He invented a more precise method of mapping solar eclipses and applied it to the creation of NASA's maps of the North American eclipses of 2017, 2023 and 2024.

Ernie is a frequent participant in public outreach, speaking at museums, schools, and NASA events, on webinars and in TV interviews. He served as an eclipse expert for the hour-long NASA Science Live broadcast covering the May 15, 2022 total lunar eclipse. He is an amateur astronomer and holds a Lunar Observing Certificate from the Astronomical League. Before coming to NASA, he was a stay-at-home dad, working remotely as a senior programmer for a high-end animation software package and creating visualizations for several federal agencies. He has a B.S. in computer and information science with a minor in communication from the University of Maryland.