PTYS/LPL Faculty

George Rieke

Regents' Professor
IR astronomy, JWST: Planetary debris disks, extragalactic observations
Ph.D., 1969, Harvard

Steward 272

Years with LPL: 1970 to present


Dr. Rieke is currently conducting research programs in planetary debris disks and their relation to the evolution of planetary systems, and in the evolution of star formation in infrared galaxies.

Current Spacecraft Involvement

  • Science Team Lead, Mid-Infrared Instrument for JWST

Former Spacecraft Involvement

  • Principal Investigator, Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer

Student Collaborations/Advising

Former Students

  • Huan Meng, 2015 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • Wiphu Rujopakarn, 2012 (Astronomy)
  • Kevin Flaherty, 2011 (Astronomy)
  • Andras Gaspar, 2011 (Astronomy)
  • Aleks Diamond-Stanic, 2010 (Astronomy)
  • Jennifer Donley, 2009 (Astronomy)
  • Amelia Stutz, 2009 (Astronomy)
  • Yong Shi, 2008 (Astronomy) 
  • Lei Bai, 2007 (Astronomy)
  • Nadiya Gorlova, 2006 (Astronomy) 
  • Jane Rigby, 2006 (Astronomy)
  • Joannah Hinz, 2003 (Astronomy)
  • Kevin Luhman, 1998 (Astronomy) 
  • Milagros Ruiz, 1997 (Astronomy) 
  • Peter Tamblyn, 1996 (Astronomy)
  • Douglas Williams, 1995 (Astronomy)
  • Kimberly Katris McLeod, 1994 (Astronomy)
  • Douglas Kelly, 1992 (Astronomy)
  • Thomas Milner, 1991 (Optical Sciences)
  • Steven Pompea, 1989 (Astronomy)
  • Richard Elston, 1988 (Astronomy)
  • Roc Cutri, 1985 (Astronomy)
  • Humberto Campins, 1982 (M.S. PTYS), 1982 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • Bruce Wilking, 1981 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • T. Nicholas Gautier, 1978 (Astronomy)


Complete publications list available from: NASA ADS Author Search: G. H. Rieke

Selected Publications

More than 430 peer-reviewed publications with a total of more than 27,000 citations; h-index of 80.

Sample papers and topics: 

1. Starbursts and extragalactic star formation

Rieke, G. H., Low, F. J. 1972, ApJL, 176, 95, "Infrared Photometry of Extragalactic Sources," reports the first ULIRGs and LIRGs

Rieke, G. H., et al. 1980, ApJ, 238, 24, "The nature of the nuclear sources in M82 and NGC 253," first comprehensive description of starburst galaxies 

Rieke, G. H., et al. 1985, "10 to the 12th solar luminosity starbursts and shocked molecular hydrogen in the colliding galaxies ARP 220 (= IC 4553) and NGC 6240," first detailed modeling of IRAS-discovered ULIRGs 

Rieke, G. H., et al. 2009, ApJ, 692, 556 "Determining Star Formation Rates for Infrared Galaxies," introduces accurate Spitzer-based SED templates and demonstrates use of 24 micron data to determine star formation rates 

Rujopakarn, Wiphu, et al. 2011, ApJ, 726, 93, "Morphology and Size Differences Between Local and High-redshift Luminous Infrared Galaxies," demonstrates large extent of high-z LIRGs and ULIRGs and how to apply IR SEDs for accurate star formation rate estimation 

2. Active Galactic Nuclei 

Rieke, G. H. 1978, ApJ, 226, 550, "The Infrared Emission of Seyfert Galaxies," the first major survey of Seyfert galaxies in the mid-IR, provides preliminary evidence that their emission is predominantly thermal

Rieke, G. H., Lebofsky, M. J. 1981, ApJ, 250, 87, "Spectral components of NGC 4151," detailed observations and modeling of the prototypical Type 1 Seyfert demonstrate importance of thermal radiation in its SED 

Maiolino, R., Rieke, G. H. 1995, ApJ, 454, 95, "Low-Luminosity and Obscured Seyfert Nuclei in Nearby Galaxies," generates nearby unbiased sample of AGN, shows intrinsic ratio of types 1 and 2 and effects of obscuration on type classification 

McLeod, K. K., Rieke, G. H. 1995, ApJL, 454, 77, "Luminous Quasars in Luminous Early-Type Host Galaxies," summarizes evidence for luminous host galaxies for quasars using 90-Inch data, winning a running battle with the Bahcall group who used HST 

Donley, J. L., et al. 2008, ApJ, 687, 111, "Spitzer's Contribution to the AGN Population," definitive summary of the AGN discovery methods and results using infrared data from Spitzer

3. Star Formation and Planetary Debris Disks 

Luhman, K. L., et al. 2000, ApJ, 540, 1016, "The Initial Mass Function of Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs in Young Clusters," summary of multiple studies with K. Luhman that measured the IMF into the brown dwarf regime

Rieke, G. H., et al. 2005, ApJ, 620, 1010, "Decay of Planetary Debris Disks," provided first clear demonstration of 1/t decay of infrared excesses associated with debris disks

Su, K. Y. L., et al. 2005, ApJ, 628, 487, "The Vega Debris Disk: A Surprise from Spitzer," discovery of a prominent debris halo around Vega 

Morales, Farisa Y., et al. 2011, ApJL, 730, 29, "Common Warm Dust Temperatures Around Main-sequence Stars," finding that the warm dust in debris disks tends to have a temperature near 180K independent of stellar type, probably associated with processes at the ice line 

4. Observational Fundamentals 

Low, F. J., and Rieke, G. H. 1974, in Methods of Experimental Physics, 12, Astrophysics, Part A, p. 415, "The instrumentation and techniques of infrared photometry," comprehensive discussion of infrared optimization of telescopes and related issues 

Rieke, G. H. et al. 2008, AJ, 135, 2245, "Absolute Physical Calibration in the Infrared," ties all IR absolute calibrations together to achieve a final result accurate to 2% or better

Available filesSizeCreated
PDF icon RiekeVITA_MIRI_082017.pdf183.25 KBAugust 2, 2017
Semester Course Day/Time Location Resources
Fall 2016 ASTR 418-001
Fall 2016 PTYS 518-001

Last updated on March 20, 2018