Eric Mamajek
Visiting Professor of
Physics and Astronomy
University of Rochester

Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar

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.

I've recently moved to JPL to start a new position as Deputy Program Chief Scientist of the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP).

The BRING experiment is under construction at University of Rochester, led by PhD student Sam Mellon, with help from Mike Culver, and in collaboration with Matt Kenworthy, Remko Stuik, & Patrick Dorval from Leiden University. It will be installed at Siding Springs Observatory in Australia in early 2017 and will be part of an international campaign to photometrically monitor the bright star Beta Pic in 2017-2018 to search for signs of circumplanetary material (moon-forming disk? rings?) associated with the young gas giant Beta Pic b.

von Karman Lecture: "Exoplanets: The Quest for Strange New Worlds", January 12, 2017

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: 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 and free-floating planets in Sco-Cen.


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.