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Dr. Jian-Yang Li

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Senior Scientist

Currently resides in VA
jyli [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Asteroids, Ceres, Comets, Dwarf planets, Interplanetary Dust, Small satellites, Vesta
Disciplines/Techniques: Ground-based observing, Mapping, Photometry, Remote sensing, Space-based observing, Thermal modeling
Missions: Chang'E 2 (China), Dawn, Deep Impact, EPOXI, HST, OSIRIS-REx, Stardust-NExT
Mission Roles: Calibration/Test planning, Data archive, Data validation, Mission science team, Science operations
Facilities: ALMA, Gemini, Palomar

Research Interests

Dr. Jian-Yang Li is interested in the physical and compositional properties of asteroids and comets.  He studies the spectral reflectance properties of airless bodies, particularly from high-resolution, multi- or hyper-spectral images obtained from the ground and returned by spacecraft.  He is one of the first few astronomers who applied disk-resolved photometric analysis to cometary nuclei, and found possible connections between the photometric properties and cometary geological features.  He has been actively involved in Deep Impact, DIXI, Stardust-NExT, and Dawn missions.  The surface albedo and compositional maps of Ceres and Vesta generated by Li are essential for the planning of Dawn mission.  He is actively involved in NASA Observing Campaign of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) and Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) from various space-based platforms including Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Professional History

Dr. Li received his PhD in Astronomy in 2005 from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied the light reflectance properties of asteroids and cometary nuclei.  When he was a Research Associate and Assistant Research Scientist at University of Maryland, he was a science team member of Deep Impact, EPOXI, and Stardust-NExT missions.  Joining PSI in 2012, Li has been a Participating Scientist on the Dawn mission and has continued as a member of the Dawn science team. He is also a member of the OSIRIS-REx science team.

Honors and Awards

2006, NASA Early Career Fellowship
Minor Planet 21496 Lijianyang

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