Marc J Kuchner

Marc J Kuchner

  • RSCH AST, STLR GALCTIC&XTRGLTC ASTR
  • 301.286.5165
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 667
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    Astrophysicist Marc Kuchner is known for work on images and imaging of disks and exoplanets. Together with Wesley Traub, he invented the band-limited coronagraph, a design to be used on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). He is also known for his novel supercomputer models of planet-disk interactions and for developing the ideas of ocean planets, Carbon planets, and Helium planets. Kuchner currently serves as the principal investigator of the popular citizen science website, DiskDetective.org.

    Current Projects

    Disk Detective

    The Disk Detective citizen science project is scouring the data archive from the WISE all-sky survey to find warm dust around nearby stars: protoplenatary disks and debris disks. Volunteers on this NASA/Zooniverse website have already performed more than 1,000,000 classifications of WISE sources. Using the power of crowdsourcing, we stand to increase the pool of known debris disks by ~375 and triple the solid angle in clusters of young stars examined with WISE, finding new targets for JWST and exoplanet imaging. For the latest news, see the Disk Detective Blog.

    Education

    Hubble Fellow, Russell Fellow, and Council of Sci. and Technology Fellow, Princeton University, 2003--2005
    Michelson Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 2000--2003
    Ph.D. Astronomy with a Minor in Physics, Caltech, 2000
    Thesis: Exozodiacal Dust, Advisor: Michael E. Brown
    A.B. Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics with Honors, Harvard University, 1994

    Teaching Experience

    Graduate Students:
    Christopher Stark, U. Maryland Physics Dept. Now a NASA Postdoctoral Program fellow at Goddard Space Flight Center
    Erika Nesvold, University of Maryland Baltimore County Physics Dept.

    Postdoctoral Fellows:

    Aki Roberge, NPP Postdoctoral Fellow, GSFC. Now a staff scientist at GSFC.
    Ruslan Belikov, NPP Postdoctoral Fellow, GSFC. Now a staff scientist at NASA Ames.
    Hannah Jang-Condell, Michelson Postdoctoral Fellow, GSFC/UMD. Now an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming.
    John Debes NPP postdoctoral fellow, GSFC. Now a staff scientist at STScI.
    Thayne Currie, NPP postdoctoral fellow, GSFC. Now a postdoctoral fellow at NAOJ.
    Margaret Pan, NPP postdoctoral fellow, GSFC. Now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.

    Classroom Experience:
    Lecturer in Astronomy, Rio Hondo College, 1996 

    Professional Societies

    American Astronomical Society, 1998 - Present
    National Association of Science Writers, 2012 - Present

    Professional Service

    PI, DiskDetective.org citizen science website. Launched 1/28/14.
    Science Team, ACESat: Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite, 2014-
    WFIRST-AFTA Study Scientist, 2014-
    NASA HQ Research and Analysis Working Group, SERA Program, 2014
    JWST Communications Scientist, 2014
    NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program Science and Technology Definition Team, 2013-
    Science Team, BENI Explorer mission (proposed), 2012-
    Scientific Organizing Committee, Planets Around Stellar Remnants meeting, 2012
    EXCEDE Explorer Mission Proposal Science Team, 2011
    SPICES ESA Medium-Class Mission Proposal Science Team, 2011
    Scientific Organizer, NASA GSFC Signposts of Planets meeting, 2011
    Scientific Organizing Committee, Disks, Meteorites, and Planetesimals meeting, 2010
    NASA Goddard Space Center Astrobiology Team (PI Mike Mumma), 2009–2014
    Keck/IRTF Management and Operations Working Group, 2009–2011
    NASA TDEM Review Panel, 2009–
    eXtrasolar Planet Characterizer (XPC) Science Team, 2008–2009
    Bern International Space Science Institute Team, Exozodiacal Dust Disks and DARWIN, 2007–
    Scientific Organizing Committee, Extreme Planetary Systems, Santorini, 2007 Science Director’s Council, Goddard Space Flight Center, 2007
    Astrophysics Science Division Prize Committee, Goddard Space Flight Center, 2007
    Scientific Organizing Committee, TPF/Darwin Conference, 2006
    New Worlds Discoverer Science Team, 2006–
    Gemini/Near Infrared Coronagraphic Imager(NICI) Campaign Science Team, 2005
    Chair, Lab Chief Search Committee, GSFC Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophys. Lab., 2006
    Subaru HiCiao Adaptive Optics Instrument Preliminary Design Review Panelist, 2005
    Session Chair, STSCI Nearby Resolved Debris Disks Workshop, 2005
    Founder and Organizer, “Exoplanet Club” Seminar Series, GSFC, 2005–
    Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph Science & Technology Definition Team, 2005–2006
    Chair, Committee on Circumstellar Disks
    Scientific Organizer (1 of 4), Aspen Winter Conference on Planet Formation, 2005
    NASA TPF/SSO Review Panelist, 2004, 2005
    Orgainizer, Princeton Conference on General Astrophysics with TPF, 2004
    Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) Science Working Group, 2002–2004
    Chair, Committee on General Astrophysics and Comparative Planetology Northrop Grumman Space Technology TPF Science Advisory Team, 2003–
    Space Infrared Interferometric Telecsope (SPIRIT) Science Team, 2003–
    Founder, Astrobiology Seminar Series, Princeton University, 2003
    Aspen Gemini Future Instrumentation Workshop: U.S. Delegate, 2003
    Eclipse Coronagraph Science Team, 2002–
    Fourier-Kelvin Space Interferometer (FKSI) Science Team, 2002–
    Princeton Extra-Solar Planets Advanced Mission Concepts Team, 2002
    Harvard-Smithsonian CfA Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope Committee, 2002
    Chair, Extrasolar Planets Session, AAS Division of Planetary Sciences Meetings, 2001,2002
    Ball Aerospace TPF Architecture Team, 2001
    Founder, Planet Formation Discussion Group, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, 2001
    Solar System Dust Panel, Planetary Science Decadal Survey, 2001

    Awards

    SPIE Early Career Award, 2009

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

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

    Leisawitz, D., D. Benford, A. Blain, et al. J. Carr, M. Fich, J. Fischer, P. Goldsmith, J. Greaves, M. Griffin, G. Helou, R. Ivison, M. Kuchner, R. Lyon, H. Matsuo, S. A. Rinehart, E. Serabyn, H. Shibai, R. Silverberg, J. Staguhn, S. Unwin, D. Wilner, A. Wootten, and E. L. Wright. 2011. "Is Space-based Interferometry Dead?" American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #218, #32401; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 43, 2011, 218: 32401 [Full Text (Link)]

    Li, J., M. J. Kuchner, R. J. Allen, and S. S. Sheppard. 2011. "Measuring the sizes, shapes, surface features and rotations of Solar System objects with interferometry." Icarus, 211: 1007 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1016/j.icarus.2010.11.017]

    Wahhaj, Z., M. C. Liu, B. A. Biller, et al. F. Clarke, E. L. Nielsen, L. M. Close, T. L. Hayward, E. E. Mamajek, M. Cushing, T. Dupuy, M. Tecza, N. Thatte, M. Chun, C. Ftaclas, M. Hartung, I. N. Reid, E. L. Shkolnik, S. H. Alencar, P. Artymowicz, A. Boss, E. de Gouveia Dal Pino, J. Gregorio-Hetem, S. Ida, M. Kuchner, D. N. Lin, and D. W. Toomey. 2011. "The Gemini NICI Planet-finding Campaign: Discovery of a Substellar L Dwarf Companion to the Nearby Young M Dwarf CD-35 2722." The Astrophysical Journal, 729: 139 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/0004-637X/729/2/139]

    Ballard, S., J. L. Christiansen, D. Charbonneau, et al. D. Deming, M. J. Holman, M. F. A'Hearn, D. D. Wellnitz, R. K. Barry, M. J. Kuchner, T. A. Livengood, T. Hewagama, J. M. Sunshine, D. L. Hampton, C. M. Lisse, S. Seager, and J. F. Veverka. 2011. "A Search for Additional Planets in Five of the Exoplanetary Systems Studied by the NASA EPOXI Mission." The Astrophysical Journal, 732: 41 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/0004-637X/732/1/41]

    Matranga, M., J. J. Drake, V. L. Kashyap, M. Marengo, and M. J. Kuchner. 2010. "Close Binaries with Infrared Excess: Destroyers of Worlds?" The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 720: L164 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/2041-8205/720/2/L164]

    Biller, B. A., M. C. Liu, Z. Wahhaj, et al. E. L. Nielsen, L. M. Close, T. J. Dupuy, T. L. Hayward, A. Burrows, M. Chun, C. Ftaclas, F. Clarke, M. Hartung, J. Males, I. N. Reid, E. L. Shkolnik, A. Skemer, M. Tecza, N. Thatte, S. H. Alencar, P. Artymowicz, A. Boss, E. de Gouveia Dal Pino, J. Gregorio-Hetem, S. Ida, M. J. Kuchner, D. Lin, and D. Toomey. 2010. "The Gemini NICI Planet-finding Campaign: Discovery of a Close Substellar Companion to the Young Debris Disk Star PZ Tel." The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 720: L82 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/2041-8205/720/1/L82]

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

    Jang-Condell, H., and M. J. Kuchner. 2010. "Radiative Transfer Models of a Possible Planet in the AB Aurigae Disk." Astrophysical Journal Letters, 714: L142 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/2041-8205/714/1/L142]

    Ballard, S., J. L. Christiansen, D. Charbonneau, et al. D. Deming, M. J. Holman, D. Fabrycky, M. F. A'Hearn, D. D. Wellnitz, R. K. Barry, M. J. Kuchner, T. A. Livengood, T. Hewagama, J. M. Sunshine, D. L. Hampton, C. M. Lisse, S. Seager, and J. F. Veverka. 2010. "A Search for Additional Planets in the NASA EPOXI Observations of the Exoplanet System GJ 436." The Astrophysical Journal, 716: 1047 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/0004-637X/716/2/1047]

    Spergel, D. N., J. Kasdin, R. Belikov, et al. P. Atcheson, M. Beasley, D. Calzetti, B. Cameron, C. Copi, S. Desch, A. Dressler, D. Ebbets, R. Egerman, A. Fullerton, J. Gallagher, J. Green, O. Guyon, S. Heap, R. Jansen, E. Jenkins, J. Kasting, R. Keski-Kuha, M. Kuchner, R. Lee, D. Lindler, R. Linfield, D. Lisman, R. Lyon, S. Malhotra, G. Mathews, M. McCaughrean, J. Mentzel, M. Mountain, S. NIkzad, R. O'Connell, S. Oey, D. Padgett, B. Parvin, J. Procashka, W. Reeve, I. N. Reid, J. Rhoads, A. Roberge, B. Saif, P. Scowen, S. Seager, O. Seigmund, K. Sembach, S. Shaklan, M. Shull, and R. Soummer. 2009. "THEIA: Telescope for Habitable Exoplanets and Interstellar/Intergalactic Astronomy." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #213, #45804; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 41, p362, 213: 362 [Full Text (Link)]

    Brief Bio

    Astrophysicist Marc Kuchner is known for work on images and imaging of disks and exoplanets. Together with Wesley Traub, he invented the band-limited coronagraph, a design to be used on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). He is also known for his novel supercomputer models of planet-disk interactions and for developing the ideas of ocean planets, Carbon planets, and Helium planets. Kuchner currently serves as the principal investigator of the popular citizen science website, DiskDetective.org.

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

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

    Leisawitz, D., D. Benford, A. Blain, et al. J. Carr, M. Fich, J. Fischer, P. Goldsmith, J. Greaves, M. Griffin, G. Helou, R. Ivison, M. Kuchner, R. Lyon, H. Matsuo, S. A. Rinehart, E. Serabyn, H. Shibai, R. Silverberg, J. Staguhn, S. Unwin, D. Wilner, A. Wootten, and E. L. Wright. 2011. "Is Space-based Interferometry Dead?" American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #218, #32401; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 43, 2011 218 32401 [Full Text (Link)]

    Li, J., M. J. Kuchner, R. J. Allen, and S. S. Sheppard. 2011. "Measuring the sizes, shapes, surface features and rotations of Solar System objects with interferometry." Icarus 211 1007 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1016/j.icarus.2010.11.017]

    Wahhaj, Z., M. C. Liu, B. A. Biller, et al. F. Clarke, E. L. Nielsen, L. M. Close, T. L. Hayward, E. E. Mamajek, M. Cushing, T. Dupuy, M. Tecza, N. Thatte, M. Chun, C. Ftaclas, M. Hartung, I. N. Reid, E. L. Shkolnik, S. H. Alencar, P. Artymowicz, A. Boss, E. de Gouveia Dal Pino, J. Gregorio-Hetem, S. Ida, M. Kuchner, D. N. Lin, and D. W. Toomey. 2011. "The Gemini NICI Planet-finding Campaign: Discovery of a Substellar L Dwarf Companion to the Nearby Young M Dwarf CD-35 2722." The Astrophysical Journal 729 139 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/0004-637X/729/2/139]

    Ballard, S., J. L. Christiansen, D. Charbonneau, et al. D. Deming, M. J. Holman, M. F. A'Hearn, D. D. Wellnitz, R. K. Barry, M. J. Kuchner, T. A. Livengood, T. Hewagama, J. M. Sunshine, D. L. Hampton, C. M. Lisse, S. Seager, and J. F. Veverka. 2011. "A Search for Additional Planets in Five of the Exoplanetary Systems Studied by the NASA EPOXI Mission." The Astrophysical Journal 732 41 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/0004-637X/732/1/41]

    Matranga, M., J. J. Drake, V. L. Kashyap, M. Marengo, and M. J. Kuchner. 2010. "Close Binaries with Infrared Excess: Destroyers of Worlds?" The Astrophysical Journal Letters 720 L164 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/2041-8205/720/2/L164]

    Biller, B. A., M. C. Liu, Z. Wahhaj, et al. E. L. Nielsen, L. M. Close, T. J. Dupuy, T. L. Hayward, A. Burrows, M. Chun, C. Ftaclas, F. Clarke, M. Hartung, J. Males, I. N. Reid, E. L. Shkolnik, A. Skemer, M. Tecza, N. Thatte, S. H. Alencar, P. Artymowicz, A. Boss, E. de Gouveia Dal Pino, J. Gregorio-Hetem, S. Ida, M. J. Kuchner, D. Lin, and D. Toomey. 2010. "The Gemini NICI Planet-finding Campaign: Discovery of a Close Substellar Companion to the Young Debris Disk Star PZ Tel." The Astrophysical Journal Letters 720 L82 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/2041-8205/720/1/L82]

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

    Jang-Condell, H., and M. J. Kuchner. 2010. "Radiative Transfer Models of a Possible Planet in the AB Aurigae Disk." Astrophysical Journal Letters 714 L142 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/2041-8205/714/1/L142]

    Ballard, S., J. L. Christiansen, D. Charbonneau, et al. D. Deming, M. J. Holman, D. Fabrycky, M. F. A'Hearn, D. D. Wellnitz, R. K. Barry, M. J. Kuchner, T. A. Livengood, T. Hewagama, J. M. Sunshine, D. L. Hampton, C. M. Lisse, S. Seager, and J. F. Veverka. 2010. "A Search for Additional Planets in the NASA EPOXI Observations of the Exoplanet System GJ 436." The Astrophysical Journal 716 1047 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/0004-637X/716/2/1047]

    Spergel, D. N., J. Kasdin, R. Belikov, et al. P. Atcheson, M. Beasley, D. Calzetti, B. Cameron, C. Copi, S. Desch, A. Dressler, D. Ebbets, R. Egerman, A. Fullerton, J. Gallagher, J. Green, O. Guyon, S. Heap, R. Jansen, E. Jenkins, J. Kasting, R. Keski-Kuha, M. Kuchner, R. Lee, D. Lindler, R. Linfield, D. Lisman, R. Lyon, S. Malhotra, G. Mathews, M. McCaughrean, J. Mentzel, M. Mountain, S. NIkzad, R. O'Connell, S. Oey, D. Padgett, B. Parvin, J. Procashka, W. Reeve, I. N. Reid, J. Rhoads, A. Roberge, B. Saif, P. Scowen, S. Seager, O. Seigmund, K. Sembach, S. Shaklan, M. Shull, and R. Soummer. 2009. "THEIA: Telescope for Habitable Exoplanets and Interstellar/Intergalactic Astronomy." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #213, #45804; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 41, p362 213 362 [Full Text (Link)]

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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