Eric Mamajek
Associate Professor
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
University of Rochester
emamajek pas rochester edu

AST 142 (Spring 2016)
Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar
ADS Labs

Artist's conception of J1407 eclipsing ring system by illustrator Ron Miller
Help characterize the eclipsing extrasolar ring system J1407! Report observations through the AAVSO.

Press on J1407 Eclipsing Ring System (2015), Closest Known Flyby of a Star to the Solar System (Scholz's star; 2015), and discovery of Comet Cameron-ISON (2016)

UR: AST 142: Spring 2016, Physics & Astronomy Department, UR Physics & Astronomy Major & Minor, General Advice for students, Summer Research, Graduate Program, PHY & AST courses, UR Physics & Astro Visitor's Info
Mees Observatory: Mees Obs. Summer Tours, Mees Obs. Documentation
Stars: Stellar Color/Teff Table, Spectral Type Notes, Online Material
Sun: Notes on the Sun, Notes on G2V stars, Reconstruction of the Past Sun (supplement to Tarduno+2014)
Publications: ADS sorted by # of citations, ADS 1st-author only sorted by # citations, ADS sorted by date, IAU258: The Ages of Stars


My primary research interests are the formation and evolution of exoplanets and stars in our Galactic neighborhood. My recent and on-going research projects and collaborations involve quantifying and trying to understand the evolution of protoplanetary and dusty debris disks around normal stars, improving distance and age estimates to astrophysically interesting stellar, protostellar, substellar, and planetary systems, and surveys to image extrasolar planets and substellar companions to nearby stars in the near- and thermal infrared. I also recently discovered a few new nearby young stellar groups in the solar neighborhood within a few hundred parsecs of the Sun, and I am interested in investigating the recent star-formation history and kinematics of the solar neighborhood and what it can inform us about star-formation mechanisms. UR faculty in the Physics & Astronomy (PAS) department and Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) department are also collaborating on planetary science research.
I am collaborating with UR professor John Tarduno on constraining the interaction between the Earth's magnetic dynamo and the early Sun (during the first billion years). With UR professor Alice Quillen and PhD student Erin Scott, we have investigated circumsecondary and circumplanetary ("moon-forming") disks like J1407 which may show the signatures of exomoons. I'm collaborating with Matt Kenworthy (Leiden) on constructing twin robotic observatories in Australia and South Africa to search for transiting circumplanetary disks among young stars. I'm a member of the NASA ASU Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (PI Steve Desch), collaborating on projects related to characterizing the nearest samples of Sun-like stars for future NASA exoplanet surveys. PhD student Fred Moolekamp and I have been using DECam on the Blanco 4-m telescope to discover young substellar objects in Sco-Cen.


Internal: I am currently chair of the UR Physics & Astronomy graduate admissions committee, the undergraduate adviser for UR Physics & Astronomy majors, and I am on the department's undergraduate advising and curriculum committee, and strategic planning committees. I was awarded the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2012. During 2011-2012, I was telescope scientist for the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, where I helped manage the f/8 mirror recovery effort and assisted with the installation of the Dark Energy Camera (DECam).
External: I'm an active supporter of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), and I am the chair and organizer of the new IAU Division C Working Group on Star Names (WGSN), and member of the IAU Executive Committee Working Group on Public Naming of Planets and Planetary Satellites. Recently (2015), I was chair of the Inter-Division A-G Working Group on Nominal Units for Stellar & Planetary Astronomy, which proposed IAU 2015 Resolution B2 on recommended zero points for the absolute and apparent bolometric magnitude scales and IAU 2015 Resolution B3 on recommended nominal conversion constants for selected solar and planetary properties - both of which passed the XXIXth General Assembly in Honolulu by large majorities.

Recent Publications

  • "The Closest Known Flyby of a Star to the Solar System"
    Mamajek, Barenfeld, Ivanov, Kniazev, Vaisanen, Beletsky, & Boffin (2015, ApJ, 800, L17)
    Details, PR, and FAQ

  • "Modeling giant extrasolar ring systems in eclipse and the case of J1407b: sculpting by exomoons?"
    Kenworthy & Mamajek (2015, ApJ, in press)

  • "Searching for Planets in Holey Debris Disks with the Apodizing Phase Plate"
    Meshkat, Bailey, Su, Kenworthy, Mamajek, Hinz, & Smith (2015, ApJ, 800, 5)

  • "Mass and period limits on the ringed companion transiting the young star J1407"
    Kenworthy, Lacour, Kraus, Triaud, Mamajek, et al. (2014, MNRAS, in press) | J1407b entry in Extrasolar Planet Encyclopedia

  • "Modeling Transiting Circumstellar Disks: Characterizing the Newly Discovered Eclipsing Disk System OGLE LMC-ECL-11893"
    Scott, Mamajek, Pecaut, Quillen, Moolekamp, & Bell, 2014, ApJ, in press

  • "Properties of the solar neighbor WISE J072003.20-084651.2"
    Ivanov et al. (2014, A&A, in press)

  • "On the Age of the \beta Pic Moving Group"
    Mamajek & Bell (2014, MNRAS, 445, 2169).

  • Canopus B: A Candidate Common Proper Motion Companion to the Second Brightest Star
    Mamajek (2014) Figshare

  • Pre-main-sequence isochrones - III. The Cluster Collaboration isochrone server
    Bell et al. (2014, MNRAS, 445, 3496)

  • "Detecting the Oldest Geodynamo and Attendant Shielding from the Solar Wind: Implications for Habitability"
    Tarduno, Blackman, & Mamajek (2014, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, in press) | Supplementary Content on reconstruction of the past Sun | Table of parameters for the past Sun at different geological epochs: effective temperature, spectral type, luminosity, radius, X-ray luminosity, coronal temperature, mass-loss rate, magnetosphere stand-off radius

  • "Analysis of 1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6 eclipse fine-structure: hints of exomoons"
    van Werkhoven, Kenworthy, & Mamajek (2014, MNRAS, 441, 2845) | paper | Fig. 6 zoom-in of light curve

  • "A WISE Survey of Circumstellar Disks in Taurus"
    Esplin, Luhman, & Mamajek (2014, ApJ, 784, 126)

  • "HD 106906 b: A Planetary-Mass Companion Outside a Massive Debris Disks"
    Bailey, Meshkat, Reiter, Morzinski, Males, Su, Hinz, Kenworthy, Stark, Mamajek, et al. (2014, ApJ Letters, 780, L4) | Figure of separation vs. mass for known exoplanet candidates showing HD 106906b

  • "Ages of Young Stars"
    Soderblom, Hillenbrand, Jeffries, Mamajek, & Naylor (2014, review chapter for "Protostars & Planets VI", in press; arXiv:1311.7024)

  • "The Solar Neighborhood XXX. Fomalhaut C"
    Mamajek, Bartlett, Seifahrt, Henry, Dieterich, Lurie, Kenworthy, Jao, Riedel, Subasavage, Winters, Finch, Ianna, & Bean (2013, AJ, 146, 154)

  • "The Kappa Andromedae System: New Constraints on the Companion Mass, System Age & Further Multiplicity"
    Hinkley et al. (2014, ApJ, in press; arxiv:1309.3372)

  • "Intrinsic Colors, Temperatures, and Bolometric Corrections of Pre-Main Sequence Stars"
    Pecaut & Mamajek (2013, ApJS, 208, 9) Tables Queryable in Vizier

  • "A Kine-Chemical Investigation of the AB Dor Moving Group 'Stream'"
    Barenfeld, Bubar, Mamajek, & Young (2013, ApJ, 766, 6)

  • "Planetary Construction Zones in Occultation: Discovery of an Extrasolar Ring System Transiting a Young Sun-like Star and Future Prospects for Detecting Eclipses by Circumsecondary and Circumplanetary Disks"
    Mamajek, Quillen, Pecaut, Moolekamp, Scott, Kenworthy, Collier Cameron, & Parley (2012, AJ, 143, 72): How can we find and constrain the origins of extrasolar moons? The disks they form from can eclipse stars!

  • "On the Age and Binarity of Fomalhaut"
    Mamajek (2012, ApJ, 754, L20): The famous debris disk and exoplanet host star Fomalhaut is twice as old as previously thought: ~440 million years old.

  • "A Revised Age for Upper Scorpius and the Star Formation History among the F-type Members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association"
    Pecaut, Mamajek, & Bubar (2012, ApJ, 746, 154)

    Selected Earlier Publications

  • "Discovery of a Faint Companion to Alcor Using MMT/AO 5 um Imaging"
    Mamajek, Kenworthy, Hinz, & Meyer (2010, AJ, 139, 919)

  • "Initial Conditions of Planet Formation: Lifetimes of Primordial Disks"
    Mamajek (2009, AIPC, 1158, 3)

  • "Improved Age Estimation for Solar-Type Dwarfs Using Activity-Rotation Diagnostics"
    Mamajek & Hillenbrand (2008, ApJ, 687, 1264)

  • "On the distance to the Ophiuchus star-forming region"
    Mamajek (2008, AN, 329, 10)

  • "An Improbable Solution to the Underluminosity of 2M1207B: A Hot Protoplanet Collision Afterglow"
    Mamajek & Meyer (2007, ApJ, 668, L175)

  • "A Moving Cluster Distance to the Exoplanet 2M1207b in the TW Hydrae Association"
    Mamajek (2005, ApJ, 634, 1385)

  • "Constraining the Lifetime of Circumstellar Disks in the Terrestrial Planet Zone: A Mid-Infrared Survey of the 30 Myr old Tucana-Horologium Association"
    Mamajek, Meyer, Hinz, et al. (2004, ApJ, 612, 496)

  • "Post-T Tauri Stars in the Nearest OB Association"
    Mamajek, Meyer, & Liebert (2002, AJ, 124, 1670)

  • "The Dispersal of Young Stars and the Greater Sco-Cen Association"
    Mamajek & Feigelson (2001, ASPC, 244, 104)

  • "The Eta Chamaeleontis Cluster: Origin in the Sco-Cen OB Association"
    Mamajek, Lawson, & Feigelson (2000, ApJ, 544, 356)

  • "The Eta Chamaeleontis Cluster: A Remarkable New Nearby Young Open Cluster"
    Mamajek, Lawson, & Feigelson (1999, ApJ, 516, L77)

    Current research group members

  • Sam Mellon: UR PhD student (former 2014 REU student)
  • Erin Scott: UR PhD student class of 2016
  • Fred Moolekamp: UR PhD student class of 2016
  • Tanveer Karim: UR class of 2016 (Goldwater Scholar)
  • Molly Finn: UR class of 2016 (2013 UR REU program; Goldwater Scholar)
  • Alexis Klimasewski: UR class of 2018
  • Arfan Sekawat: UR class of 2019
  • Pouya Tanouri: UR class of 2017
  • Dave Cameron: UR Visiting Scientist

    Past student research assistants and postdocs

  • Susana Acosta: UR class of 2012
  • Scott Barenfeld: UR class of 2012 (now PhD student in Astronomy - Caltech; 2014 NSF Graduate Student Fellow)
  • Cameron Bell: postdoc (PhD 2012 Exeter)
  • Matt Bourque: class of 2011 (Florida Tech) (2010 UR REU program)
  • Eric Bubar: postdoc (PhD 2009 Clemson; now assistant professor Physics - Marymount University)
  • Julieta Gruszko: UR class of 2012 (UR REU 2009; now PhD student in Physics - University of Washington; 2014 NSF Graduate Student Fellow)
  • Dilyana Mihaylova: UR class of 2013 (now MS student in Optics - UR)
  • Duy Cuong Nguyen: postdoc (PhD 2009 U. Toronto; now Research Associate - Univ. Toronto)
  • Manuel Olmedo: INAOE (Puebla, Mx) PhD student
  • Mark Pecaut: UR PhD class of 2013 (now Assistant Professor - Rockhurst University)
  • Andrew Roberts: SUNY-Geneseo class of 2015 (UR REU 2013)
  • Alex Shvonski: UR MSc class of 2009 (now PhD student in Physics - Boston College)
  • Marek Slipski: UR class of 2011 (UR REU 2009 - now PhD student in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences - Univ. of Colorado, Boulder)
  • Jonathan Strumpf: UR class of 2015 (UR REU 2013)
  • Fan Wu: UR class of 2014

    Former students and advisees

  • Ryan Challener: UR class of 2013 (now grad student at UCF)
  • Imran Hasan: UR class of 2012 (now Yale SMARTS data manager)
  • Travis Kneen: UR class of 2012 (now MS student at Youngstown State)
  • Erini Lambrides: UR class of 2013 (now at AMNH)