Marc Kuchner

Marc Kuchner

Marc Kuchner (born August 7, 1972) is an American astrophysicist, a staff member at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) known for work on images and imaging of disks and exoplanets. Together with Wesley Traub, he invented the band-limited coronagraph,[1] a design for the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) telescope, also to be used on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). He is also known for his novel supercomputer models of planet-disk interactions[2] and for developing the ideas of ocean planets,[3] carbon planets, and Helium planets.[4] Kuchner appears as an expert commentator in the National Geographic television show "Alien Earths" and frequently answers the "Ask Astro" questions in Astronomy Magazine. He currently serves as the principal investigator of the popular citizen science website


  • Background 1
  • Marketing for Scientists 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Kuchner was born in Montreal, Canada. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard in 1994 and his Ph.D. in astronomy from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2000. His doctoral thesis advisor was "pluto killer" Michael Brown. After he earned his Ph.D., Kuchner studied at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics as a Michelson Fellow, and then at Princeton University as a Hubble Fellow.[5] Kuchner was awarded the 2009 SPIE early career achievement award for his work on coronagraphy.[6]

Marketing for Scientists

Kuchner is the author of a book, Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times, 2011, (Island Press).[7] The book provides career and communication advice for scientists using the language of marketing, with chapters on "business", "how to sell something," "branding" and so on. This approach struck some reviewers as cynical about human nature.[8] But readers from a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines praised the book's unique angle and breadth of research. Ecology described it as "a must-read for ecologists and, indeed, for all scientists, mathematicians, and engineers at all career stages." Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson called it, "the first of its kind". A companion website,, provides links to websites and material discussed in the book.

See also


  1. ^ Kuchner, M. & Traub, W.A. (2002). "A Coronagraph with a Band-limited Mask for Finding Terrestrial Planets". "The Astrophysical Journal" 570, 900-908. (Abstract)
  2. ^ Smith, Catharine. "NASA Dust Model Presents Alien's View Of Our Solar System". Huffington Post. 
  3. ^ Kuchner, M. (2003). "Volatile-rich Earth-Mass Planets in the Habitable Zone". "The Astrophysical Journal" 596, L105-L108. (Abstract)
  4. ^ Seager, S.; M. Kuchner, C. Hier-Majumder, B. Militzer (2007). "Mass-Radius Relationships for Solid Exoplanets". ApJ 669: 1279
  5. ^ "Goddard Space Flight Center Directory". 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Kuchner, Marc (November 15, 2011). Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine In Tough Times. Island Press. p. 248. 
  8. ^ Madsen, Lynnette (October 2012). "Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times". Physics Today. 

External links

  • NASA webpage.
  • Marketing For Scientists
  • NASA Dust Model Presents Alien's View Of Our Solar System, Huffington Post, 9-28-10
  • American Physical Society Podcast
  • "Earth-Like Planets May Be Made of Carbon" Scientific American, January 2010
  • NPR's Morning Edition "Sci-Fi To Fact: Planet Hunters Find Worlds Like Earth"
  • NPR's All Things Considered "Newly Discovered Planet Could Be A Watery World"
  • NPR's All Things Considered "Found: Earth-Like Planet That Might Be Right For Life"
  • Maryland Public Television Direct Connection, December 12, 2011, starts at 13:40