Investigations of Kuiper Belt Objects

Job Details

Job ID: 10048

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Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


The main task during this period will be the validation, calibration, analysis, and interpretation of data from the New Horizons encounter at Ultima Thule (UT), the target for the Kuiper Extended Mission (KEM). The main scientific goals of this task will be to search for activity on UT and produce an albedo map and solar phase curve. A secondary task is to assist in the writing of the proposal for Trident, a Discovery-class mission mission to Triton. The candidate will take a lead role in formulating the scientific requirements and producing the science traceability matrix. This work will be done in collaboration with Dr. Bonnie Buratti, a co-investigator on the New Horizons Mission. Dr. Buratti will serve as JPL postdoctoral advisor to the selected candidate. The appointee will carry out research in collaboration with the JPL advisor, resulting in publications in the open literature.


Candidates should have a recent PhD in Astronomy or a closely related area. Experience in data analysis of images and spectra from spacecraft missions to the outer Solar System, including New Horizons and Cassini. Experience in scientific modeling of results from spacecraft missions as well as experience in mission formulation and proposal capture. Experience in Radar data analysis is desirable . Candidates who have received their PhD within the past five years since the date of their application are eligible. Postdoctoral Scholar positions are awarded for a minimum of one-year period and may be renewed up to a maximum duration of three years.

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