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 inner solar system. I am using NEOWISE data to search for cold nearby worlds, including brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood and the hypothesized Planet Nine. Through several wide-area optical imaging surveys I also play a key role in enabling target selection for the upcoming Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI).
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.
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 also interviewed for a TV segment on San Francisco's KPIX5 (CBS), and radio segments on Bay Area stations KGO and KCBS.
nasa.gov : 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
Daily Cal: Two UC Berkeley Researchers Recognized in Forbes '30 Under 30 in Science' List
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. These contributors include residents of all 50 US states and 167 countries. Backyard Worlds now counts 42,000 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