Eric Christian's Home Page
Dr. Eric R. Christian |
NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 672
Energetic Particle Laboratory
8800 Greenbelt Rd.
Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA
(301) 286-2919 FAX: (301) 286-7194
My current position is Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Code 672, the Heliospheric Physics Laboratory in the Heliophysics Science Division. I am also the lead scientist in the Energetic Particle Laboratory.
I am an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Physics Department at Washington University in St. Louis working with the Laboratory for EXperimental Astrophysics (LEXAS)
I am working on the following Missions and Projects:
(Advanced Composition Explorer)|
is a spacecraft that was launched in August 1997 on a Delta rocket from Kennedy Space Flight Center. It is orbiting the Earth-Sun Libration point (L1) looking at charged particles from solar wind energies (100 eV) up to galactic cosmic rays (500 MeV/nucleon). I am Deputy Project Scientist for ACE and an Instrument Scientist on both the Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer (CRIS) and Solar Isotope Spectrometer (SIS) instruments.
|IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer)|
IBEX is a SMEX (small explorer) that launched on October 19, 2008. It's purpose is to use Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs) to image and understand the interactions between the solar wind and the interstellar medium. I am the Mission Scientist for the IBEX mission.
|SPP (Solar Probe Plus))|
will be our first mission to the Sun. With a launch in 2018, SPP will use multiple Venus flybys to bring its perihelion down to 9.5 solar radii (less than 7 million kilometers or about 4 million miles). Its goal is to understand the heating of the corona, the acceleration of the solar wind, and the acceleration of solar energetic particles. I am the Deputy PI for the ISIS (Integrated Science Investigations of the Sun) instrument suite which consists of two energetic particle instruments (low energy: EPI-Lo and high energy: EPI-Hi). My primary focus is the design and construction of the EPI-Hi instrument.
|STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory))|
is a mission that uses two nearly identical spacecraft to give us a multifaceted view of the Sun. The prime goal is the understanding of the fundamental nature and origin of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the most energetic eruptions on the Sun and the primary cause of major geomagnetic storms. Stereo launched in October 2006, and although the two spacecraft are at about 1 AU, they have been moving away from the Earth at approximately 22.5 degrees per year. They are currently more than 180 degrees apart and are now giving us a view of the whole sun. I am a Deputy Project Scientist for STEREO.