H. Jay Melosh

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H. Jay Melosh
Jay Melosh.jpg
Born (1947-06-23) 23 June 1947 (age 71)
Paterson, New Jersey
Citizenship United States
Education Princeton
Known for Impact Cratering Studies
Awards Barringer Medal
G K Gilbert Award
Scientific career
Fields Geophysics
Institutions Purdue University
Website eaps.purdue.edu/people/faculty-pages

H. Jay Melosh (born 23 June 1947) is an American geophysicist, renowned as an expert on impact cratering. He earned a degree in physics from Princeton University and a doctoral degree in physics and geology from Caltech in 1972.[1] Melosh's research interests include impact craters, planetary tectonics, and the physics of earthquakes and landslides. His recent research includes studies of the giant impact origin of the moon, the Chicxulub impact that is said to have extinguished most dinosaurs, and studies of ejection of rocks from their parent bodies. He is active in astrobiological studies that relate chiefly to the exchange of microorganisms between the terrestrial planets (a process known as panspermia, or in his terms transpermia[2]).

Melosh is a member of the American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, Meteoritical Society, American Astronomical Society (Division of Planetary Sciences,) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[1] He is the recipient of the Barringer Medal of the Meteoritical Society for his work on the physics of impact, and of the G. K. Gilbert Award from the Geological Society of America. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003.[3]

Awards & Honors[edit]

  • Asteroid 8216 Melosh is named in his honor.
  • The American Geophysical Union 2008 Harry H. Hess Medal - for “outstanding achievements in research in the constitution and evolution of Earth and sister planets.”[4]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Purdue University. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Swapping Rocks - Exchange of Surface Material Among the Planets". Australian Spaceguard Survey. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  3. ^ U A News Archived 2006-02-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "2008 Harry H. Hess Medal Winner". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Melosh, H. J. (1989). "Abstract". Research supported by NASA. New York. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Bibcode:1989icgp.book.....M.