In this week’s episode, we’re chatting with Dr. Jessie Christiansen about the fascinating field of exoplanets and the search for habitable worlds. We’ll also discuss her thoughts on the upcoming Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, and what it really means to be a planet hunter.
My guest on the show, Dr. Jessie Christiansen, is an astrophysicist and Deputy Science Lead at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. She searches for, studies, and catalogs extrasolar planets — which are those planets orbiting other stars. She has worked on many NASA planet-hunting projects, including the EPOXI, Kepler, and TESS missions. For her work on uncovering how common planets are throughout the Galaxy with the Kepler mission, Jessie was awarded the 2018 NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal.