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Jian-Yang Li

Senior Research Associate
Planetary Science Institute



Research Interests:

  • Physical and compositional properties of asteroids and cometary nuclei
  • Geological processes and evolution of Ceres and large asteroids as planetesimals
  • Connection between comets and asteroids

Dr. Li is interested in the physical and compositional properties of asteroids and comets.  He studies the spectral reflectance properties of airless bodies, particularly from high-resolution, multi- or hyper-spectral images obtained from the ground and returned by spacecraft.  He is one of the first few astronomers who applied disk-resolved photometric analysis to cometary nuclei, and found possible connections between the photometric properties and cometary geological features.  Dr. Li has been actively involved in Deep Impact, DIXI, Stardust-NExT, and Dawn missions.  The surface albedo and compositional maps of Ceres and Vesta generated by Dr. Li are essential for the planning of Dawn mission.  He is actively involved in NASA Observing Campaign of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) from various space-based platforms including Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


Asteroid 21496 (1998 JQ2) is named in honor of Dr. Li.


See Dr. Li's CV.


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