PTYS/LPL Faculty


Amy Mainzer

Professor, Principal Investigator, NEOWISE and NEO Surveyor

Ph.D., 2003, University of California, Los Angeles

Years with LPL: 2019 to present

Asteroid Surveys, Small Bodies, Remote Sensing, Instrumentation, Education and Public Outreach

Prof. Mainzer's research focuses on understanding the populations of small bodies in our solar system, including characterizing their basic physical and dynamical properties and the potential impact hazards they may pose to Earth. Prof. Mainzer uses orbital and ground-based facilities for this work. She serves as the Principal Investigator for NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission, an Earth-orbiting satellite that uses infrared sensors to characterize asteroids and comets. She is also leading NASA's Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission, currently in development, which will carry out a comprehensive survey for the most potentially hazardous NEOs.

Prof. Mainzer has also embarked on new research to study the distribution of invasive weeds driving wildfires and causing loss of biodiversity using hyperspectral imaging, LiDAR, and field work. The aim of the project is to assist agencies charged with management to mitigate emerging invasions and optimize restoration plans.

Prof. Mainzer is currently serving as the Chair of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), the world's largest professional society of planetary scientists. She is also serving as the Chair of NASA's Planetary Advisory Committee (PAC). She is the science consultant, co-executive producer, and on-camera host of the PBS Kids television show Ready Jet Go!, which aims to teach basic physics, Earth science, and astronomy to children ages 3-8.

  • Ben Hubler
  • Alicia Marley
  • Akash Satpathy
  • Nicoletta Stork

Former Postdocs

  • Dr. Sarah Sonnett (PSI)
  • Dr. Carrie Nugent (Olin)
  • Dr. Joe Masiero (IPAC/Caltech)
  • Dr. Emily Kramer (JPL)
  • Prof. Michael Cushing (University of Toledo)

Complete publications list available from: NASA ADS Author search: Amy K. Mainzer

Recent refereed publications (NASA ADS): Years 2019 through June 2021

Rowe-Gurney, Naomi, Fletcher, Leigh N., Orton, Glenn S., Roman, Michael T., Mainzer, Amy, Moses, Julianne I., de Pater, Imke, & Irwin, Patrick G. J. 2021, Icarus. Longitudinal variations in the stratosphere of Uranus from the Spitzer infrared spectrometer

Hillenbrand, Lynne A., De, Kishalay, Hankins, Matthew, Kasliwal, Mansi M., Rebull, Luisa M., Lau, Ryan M., Cutri, Roc M., Ashley, Michael C. B., Karambelkar, Viraj R., Moore, Anna M., Travouillon, T., & Mainzer, A. K. 2021, The Astronomical Journal. Outbursting Young Stellar Object PGIR 20dci in the Perseus Arm

Marocco, F., Eisenhardt, P. R. M., Fowler, J. W., Kirkpatrick, J. D., Meisner, A. M., Schlafly, E. F., Stanford, S. A., Garcia, N., Caselden, D., Cushing, M. C., Cutri, R. M., Faherty, J. K., Gelino, C. R., Gonzalez, A. H., Jarrett, T. H., Koontz, R., Mainzer, A., Marchese, E. J., Mobasher, B., Schlegel, D. J., Stern, D., Teplitz, H. I., Wright, E. L. 2021, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series The CatWISE2020 Catalog

Masiero, J. R., Wright, E. L., Mainzer, A. K. 2021, The Planetary Science Journal Uncertainties on Asteroid Albedos Determined by Thermal Modeling

Eisenhardt, Peter R. M., Marocco, Federico, Fowler, John W., Meisner, Aaron M., Kirkpatrick, J. Davy, Garcia, Nelson, Jarrett, Thomas H., Koontz, Renata, Marchese, Elijah J., Stanford, S. Adam, Caselden, Dan, Cushing, Michael C., Cutri, Roc M., Faherty, Jacqueline K., Gelino, Christopher R., Gonzalez, Anthony H., Mainzer, Amanda, Mobasher, Bahram, Schlegel, David J., Stern, Daniel, Teplitz, Harry I., & Wright, Edward L. 2020, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. The CatWISE Preliminary Catalog: Motions from WISE and NEOWISE Data

Masiero, Joseph R., Smith, Patrice, Teodoro, Lean D., Mainzer, A. K., Cutri, R. M., Grav, T., & Wright, E. L. 2020, The Planetary Science Journal. Physical Properties of 299 NEOs Manually Recovered in Over Five Years of NEOWISE Survey Data

Masiero, Joseph R., Mainzer, A. K., Bauer, J. M., Cutri, R. M., Grav, T., Kramer, E., Pittichová, J., Sonnett, S., & Wright, E. L. 2020, The Planetary Science Journal. Asteroid Diameters and Albedos from NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Years 4 and 5

Williamson, B., Sonnett, S., Witry, J., Chatelain, J., Grav, T., Reddy, V., Lejoly, C., Kramer, E., Mainzer, A., Masiero, J., Gritsevich, M., & Bauer, J. 2020, Minor Planet Bulletin. Rotational Properties of Three Hilda Asteroids

Wang, Ting-gui, Jiang, Ning, Ge, Jian, Cutri, Roc M., Jiang, Peng, Sheng, Zhengfeng, Zhou, Hongyan, Bauer, James, Mainzer, Amy, & Wright, Edward L. 2019, The Astrophysical Journal. An Ongoing Mid-infrared Outburst in the White Dwarf 0145+234: Catching in Action the Tidal Disruption of an Exoasteroid?

Masiero, Joseph R., Wright, E. L., & Mainzer, A. K. 2019, The Astronomical Journal. Thermophysical Modeling of NEOWISE Observations of DESTINY<SUP>+</SUP> Targets Phaethon and 2005 UD

Witry, J., Sonnett, S., Williamson, B., Chatelain, J., Grav, T., Reddy, V., Lejoly, C., Kramer, E., Mainzer, A., Masiero, J., Gritsevich, M., & Bauer, J. 2019, Minor Planet Bulletin. Rotation Properties of Large-Amplitude Hilda Asteroids

Williamson, B., Sonnett, S., Witry, J., Chatelain, J., Grav, T., Reddy, V., Lejoly, C., Kramer, E., Mainzer, A., Masiero, J., Gritsevich, M., & Bauer, J. 2019, Minor Planet Bulletin. Physical Properties of Hilda Binary Asteroid Candidates

Cutri, Roc M., Masiero, Joseph, Sonnett, S., & Mainzer, A. 2019, Minor Planet Bulletin. Mid-infrared Lightcurves of (523806) 2002 WW17

Mainzer, Amy K., Bauer, James M., Cutri, Roc M., Grav, Tommy, Kramer, Emily A., Masiero, Joseph R., Sonnett, Sarah, & Wright, Edward L. 2019, NASA Planetary Data System. NEOWISE Diameters and Albedos V2.0

Last updated on January 6, 2022