Jack Jonathan Lissauer is a space scientist in the Space Science and Astrobiology Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. He is a science co-investigator on the Kepler space telescope mission. NASA's Kepler spacecraft will search for Earth-size planets orbiting distant stars following its scheduled 2009 launch. (
) Lissauer is a Consulting Professor at Stanford, teaching advanced-level classes in planetary sciences and
He and his colleagues -- including Geoffrey W. Marcy, professor of astronomy, University of California, Berkeley (http://astro.berkeley.edu/~gmarcy/
) -- have discovered four extra-solar planets – planets beyond our solar system. Lissauer and Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif., in 2003 discovered two moons of Uranus – Mab and Cupid -- as well as two additional rings around the planet – named with the Greek letters Mu and Nu.
Left: Jack Lissauer portrait. Click on the photo for high-resolution image.
Lissauer's research interests include planetary astrophysics; planet and star formation; detection of extra-solar planets; assessing the abundance of habitable planets; rotation of planets and comets; craters on planets and moons; circumstellar disks (disks that revolve around stars); resonances and chaos (gravitational interactions among planets that can change their orbits); and planetary rings and moons.
Lissauer holds a doctorate in applied mathematics granted by the University of California, Berkeley, in 1982. His thesis is entitled "Dynamics of Saturn's Rings." He also has a degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
Prior to joining NASA, Lissauer was an associate professor (September 1993 - August 1996) and assistant professor (June 1987 - August 1993) at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Earlier, he served as a visiting researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara (July 1985 - June 1987) and as an assistant research astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley (January 1985 - July 1985).
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.