Mapping the Universe
 In Search of Nearby Worlds 


I specialize in making and analyzing full-sky, high-resolution maps from large astronomical imaging data sets. Much of my work focuses on processing infrared images from NASA's NEOWISE mission, repurposing this vast asteroid-hunting data set for astrophysics beyond the main belt. I am using NEOWISE data to search for cold nearby worlds, such as the hypothesized Planet Nine, Planet X, and other elusive neighbors to the Sun which may be impossible to find at visible wavelengths.

I'm currently a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. I earned a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 2015. Before that I was an undergraduate at Stanford University, where I received a B.S. in physics in 2010.

WISE Planet Nine Search

I have performed the deepest and widest area WISE-based search for Planet Nine.

Backyard Worlds: Planet 9

I co-founded this citizen science motion search, built around my WISE coadds.

WISE Coadds

I've reprocessed 140 terabytes of WISE images to create the deepest ever full-sky maps at 3-5 microns.


A W1/W2 successor to AllWISE based on my WISE coadds.

DESI Imaging Surveys

I'm a core member of the DESI imaging surveys team, producing optical catalogs 1.5-2 mags deeper than SDSS over 14,000 square degrees of sky.

WISE Dust Map

I created a full-sky, high-resolution map of mid-infrared dust emission.


My work, particularly in relation to Planet Nine, has been widely featured in local, national and international media. A partial list of articles quoting or mentioning me by name is provided below. I was was also interviewed for a TV segment on San Francisco's KPIX5 (CBS), and radio segments on Bay Area stations KGO and KCBS.

Berkeley News : UC Berkeley, NASA looking for citizen scientists to help find Planet 9 : NASA-funded Website Lets Public Search for New Nearby Worlds
Berkeley Lab : Attention Earthlings: Help Wanted in Finding a New Planet
USA Today : NASA wants you - to find a missing planet
New York Post : NASA would like you to please find this planet
Daily Mail : Can YOU spot Planet 9?
Die Welt : Jeder soll bei der Jagd auf Planet Neun mithelfen


I co-founded Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, a Zooniverse project consisting of an all-sky crowdsourced motion search built around my time-resolved WISE/NEOWISE coadds. Since launching in February 2017, over 100,000 citizen scientists have contributed to our total of more than 4 million classifications. Backyard Worlds now counts 40,000 registered users, and has benefited enormously from the enthusiasm and dedication of our diverse group of volunteers, some of whom have gone on to receive media recognition for their participation. Four citizen scientists are co-authors on the project's first peer-reviewed publication.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab/Krystofer D.J. Kim

Data Releases

Full-sky WISE/NEOWISE-Reactivation Coadds:

Planck Full-sky Dust Model:

WISE Full-sky 12 micron Dust Emission Map:


Complete List @ NASA ADS

Deep Full-sky Coadds from Three Years of WISE and NEOWISE Observations ; Aaron Meisner, D. Lang, D. Schlegel
The First Brown Dwarf Discovered by the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project ; M. Kuchner, J. Faherty, A. Schneider, Aaron Meisner, J. Filippazzo, J. Gagne, L. Trouille, S. Silverberg, R. Castro, B. Fletcher, K. Mokaev, T. Stajic
The DESI Experiment Part II: Instrument Design
The DESI Experiment Part I: Science,Targeting, and Survey Design
Searching for Planet Nine with Coadded WISE and NEOWISE-Reactivation Images ; Aaron Meisner, B. Bromley, P. Nugent, D. Schlegel, S. Kenyon, E. Schlafly, K. Dawson
CARMA Large Area Star Formation Survey: Dense Gas in the Young L1451 Region of Perseus ; S. Storm, L. Mundy, K. Lee, M. Fernandez-Lopez, L. Looney, P. Teuben, H. Arce, E. Rosolowsky, Aaron Meisner, A. Isella, J. Kauffmann, Y. Shirley, W. Kwon, A. Plunkett, M. Pound, D. Segura-Cox, K. Tassis, J. Tobin, N. Volgenau, R. Crutcher, L. Testi
Full-depth Coadds of the WISE and First-year NEOWISE-Reactivation Images ; Aaron Meisner, D. Lang, D. Schlegel
The Optical-Infrared Extinction Curve and its Variation in the Milky Way ; E. Schlafly, Aaron Meisner, A. Stutz, J. Kainulainen, J. Peek, K. Tchernyshyov, H.-W. Rix, D. Finkbeiner, K. Covey, G. Green, E. Bell, W. Burgett, K. Chambers, P. Draper, H. Flewelling, K. Hodapp, N. Kaiser, E. Magnier, N. Martin, N. Metcalfe, R. Wainscoat, C. Waters
A Case Against Spinning PAHs as the Source of the Anomalous Microwave Emission ; B. Hensley, B. Draine, Aaron Meisner
Results from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Future Uses Session at the WISE at 5 Meeting
Modeling Thermal Dust Emission with Two Components: Application to the Planck HFI Maps ; Aaron Meisner, D. Finkbeiner
A Full-sky, High-resolution Atlas of Galactic 12 micron Dust Emission with WISE ; Aaron Meisner, D. Finkbeiner
The Metallicity of the Monoceros Stream ; Aaron Meisner, A. Frebel, M. Juric, D. Finkbeiner
Quasar Selection Based on Photometric Variability ; C. MacLeod, K. Brooks, Z. Ivezic, C. Kochanek, R. Gibson, Aaron Meisner, S. Kozlowski, B. Sesar, A. C. Becker, W. de Vries
Imaging Redshift Estimates for BL Lacertae Objects ; Aaron Meisner, R. Romani


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