Amy Mainzer

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Amy Mainzer
Amy Mainzer.jpg
Born (1974-01-02) January 2, 1974 (age 44)
Nationality United States Citizen
Alma mater Stanford University
California Institute of Technology
University of California, Los Angeles
Known for Astrophysical instrumentation and infrared astronomy
Scientific career
Fields Astrophysics
Institutions Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Amy Mainzer (born January 2, 1974) is an American astronomer, specializing in astrophysical instrumentation and infrared astronomy. She is the Deputy Project Scientist for the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and the Principal Investigator for the NEOWISE project to study minor planets[1] and the proposed Near Earth Object Camera space telescope mission.


Mainzer received a B.Sc. in Physics from Stanford University with honors (1996), an M.Sc. in Astronomy from California Institute of Technology (2000), and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles (2003).

Her research interests include asteroids, brown dwarfs, planetary atmospheres, debris disks, star formation, and the design and construction of new ground- and space-based instrumentation.[2]

Asteroid 234750 Amymainzer was named after her.

She appears in several episodes of the History Channel series The Universe.[3] She also appears in the documentary featurette "Stellar Cartography: On Earth" included on the Star Trek Generations home video release (March 2010). Mainzer is also in the 2016 documentary about the life of Leonard Nimoy and the effect of Spock on popular culture called "For the Love of Spock", which was directed by Leonard Nimoy's son Adam Nimoy. As of winter 2016, she serves as the science consultant and host for the live-action interstitials on the PBS Kids series Ready Jet Go!.[4]


  • NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (2012)
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (2011)
  • Numerous group achievement awards for Spitzer, WISE, NEOWISE
  • Lew Allen Award for Excellence (2010)
  • NASA Graduate Student Research Program Fellowship (2001-2003)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (1996-1999)[5]


  1. ^ "NASA's NEOWISE Completes Scan for Asteroids and Comets – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory". 1 February 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Science – Evolution of Galaxies: People: Amy Mainzer". Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Amy Mainzer". CBS Entertainment. Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "PBS KIDS Announces Premiere Date for New Animated Series READY JET GO! - PBS About". PBS KIDS Announces Premiere Date for New Animated Series READY JET GO! - PBS About. 
  5. ^ Mainzer, Amy. "Science - Structure of the Universe (3266): People: Amy Mainzer". Retrieved 2017-04-22. 

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