Dr. Andy Rivkin

Dr. Rivkin is the lead investigator on the Dart Mission. He received his Ph.D. in Planetary Astronomy from the University of Arizona in 1997. At the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, my research centers on near-infrared spectroscopy and spectrophotometry of asteroids. In particular, I'm interested in those asteroids that have evidence of water or organic materials in them, detectable in their infrared reflectance spectrum. This pursuit has led to studies of asteroids from 1996 FG3, a near-Earth asteroid on which clay minerals have been found, to 24 Themis, an asteroid in the outer belt on which water ice has been discovered -- a first among asteroids. I have particular interest in the dwarf planet Ceres, and have produced several papers over the past few years detailing its unusual composition and variation across its surface, as well a focus paper for the Planetary Science Decadal Survey. In addition to observational work, I have been active in the broader Near-Earth Object community, serving as a team member on several efforts to understand and report the impact hazard we face and how to lessen it, and leading a group reporting to NASA about the most important unknown factors related to human exploration of an asteroid.

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