Rebecca Oppenheimer

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Rebecca Oppenheimer
Residence U.S.
Fields Chemistry, Materials science
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
American Museum of Natural History
Education Horace Mann School
Alma mater Columbia University,
California Institute of Technology
Known for astrophysics

Rebecca Oppenheimer (born Ben R. Oppenheimer)[1] is an American astrophysicist and one of three curators in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Oppenheimer holds an adjunct professorship at Columbia University's Department of Astronomy and has published over one hundred research and public-oriented science articles. She is co-discoverer of the first brown dwarf, Gliese 229B,[2][3] and is active in research on exoplanets,[4] white dwarfs,[5] adaptive optics and coronagraphy.[6] Oppenheimer serves on NASA,[7] NSF and NRC committees. She is the principal investigator for Project 1640, an exoplanet imaging project.


Oppenheimer attended the Horace Mann School in the Bronx. After graduating in 1990, she attended Columbia University, where she was an I. I. Rabi Science Scholar. She received a BSc in Physics from Columbia in 1994. In 1999 she was granted a Ph. D. in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology and spent the following two years at the University of California at Berkeley on a Hubble Space Telescope Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. In 2001, she moved back to New York City to conduct research at the American Museum of Natural History, where she joined the faculty in 2004. Oppenheimer regularly gives public and professional lectures on astronomical research.


  1. ^ "Rebecca Oppenheimer CV" (PDF). American Museum of Natural History. p. 2. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Nakajima, T.; et al. (1995-11-20). "Discovery of a cool brown dwarf". Nature Publishing Group. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  3. ^ Oppenheimer, B. R.; et al. (1995-12-01). "Infrared Spectrum of the Cool Brown Dwarf Gl 229B". Science Magazine. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  4. ^ "The Lyot Project Website". January 2004. 
  5. ^ "White Dwarfs by the Billions". May, June, 2001.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Overbye, Dennis (2004-06-22). "Grasping for Light of Distant Worlds". New York Times. 
  7. ^ "Terrestrial Planet Finder Science and Technology Definition Team". March 2005. 

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