Michael James Gaffey

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Michael J. Gaffey
Born (1945-12-01) December 1, 1945 (age 72)
Meadville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater University of Iowa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Awards G.K. Gilbert Award, Leonard Medal
Scientific career
Fields planetary science
Institutions University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy
Hawaii Institute of Geophysics
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of North Dakota
Website space.edu

Michael James Gaffey (born December 1, 1945) is a planetary scientist who specializes in deriving the mineralogies of asteroids from their reflectance spectra.[1]


He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in geology from the University of Iowa and his PhD from MIT in planetary science graduating in 1974. From 1974 to 1977, he worked as a Post-doc in the Planetary Astronomy Laboratory at MIT. After leaving MIT, he worked as a researcher at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy from 1977 to 1979 and the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics from 1979 to 1984. From 1984 to 2001, he taught in the geology department of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is currently a professor at the University of North Dakota in the Space Studies department.[2]


In 2006 he received both the Leonard Medal from the Meteoritical Society and the G. K. Gilbert Award from the Planetary Science division of the Geological Society of America.[3] Asteroid 3545 Gaffey is also named in his honor.[4]


  1. ^ American Men & Women of Science, Volume 3. Thomson/Gale. 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  2. ^ "Michael J Gaffey, Ph D". University of North Dakota. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  3. ^ 03/30/06 UND’s Mike Gaffey Earns Two Top Space Science Awards: Like Getting Oscar, Golden Globe In One Year; Gala Celebration Is April 7 Archived 2010-06-25 at the Wayback Machine. retrieved 19 December 2009
  4. ^ "(3545) Gaffey". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 December 2017.