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Dr. William K. Hartmann is known internationally as a scientist, writer, and painter. His research involves origin and evolution of planets and planetary surfaces, and the small bodies of the solar system.

Specific research topics have included studies of cratering on the moon and Mars, leading the development of the currently most-accepted model for origin of the moon, telescopic observations of asteroids and satellites, participation in the Mariner 9 and Mars Global Surveyor Mars missions. (See Science Research for more details).

Hartmann has authored three college level textbooks in astronomy and planetary science, all of which have been published in multiple editions, and roughly 200 technical papers.

He has also published a number of popular non-fiction, illustrated books on astronomy, earth science, and the Sonoran Desert. In 1997 he published a novel about Mars, and in 2002, a novel about the Southwest. (See Writing page for more details).

Hartmann's paintings of astronomical themes have appeared in these books and in magazines and exhibits in the U.S., Russia, Japan, and Europe. He has twice had paintings commissioned by the NASA Fine Arts Program. (See Painting page for more details).

In 1992-95 he headed an effort for the Planetary Society and National Science Teachers Association to incorporate planetary science materials into the grade 6-12 curriculum. His book of lessons, "Craters!" was published in 1995 by the NSTA.

Hartmann has also served as a photo-analyst on the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations and on the U.S. Air-Force study of the UFO problem under Dr. Edward Condon, University of Colorado.


1966Nininger Meteorite Award for work on lunar and terrrestrial cratering.
1998First recipient of Carl Sagan Medal from American Astronomical Society for popular writing and astronomical paintings.
2002Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
2002Co-winner of the Runcorn-Florensky Medal from the European Geophysics Society, for work on Mars cratering chronology.
2002Lucien Rudaux Memorial Award from the International Association of Astronomical Artists, for lifetime contributions to astronomical art.
2004G.K. Gilbert Award from the Geological Society of America for outstanding contributions to the solution of fundamental problems in planetary geology.
2007A 2-profile of my career was published in Science, January 17, pp. 326-7, under the title of "Renaissance Man of The Solar System"
2007Election to International Academy of Astronautics as Corresponding Member in the Social Sciences section, in recognition of astronomical artwork and writing.
2010Recipient of Barringer Medal from the Meteoritical Society for research into impact craters, discovery of the Orientale Basin on the moon, work on lunar origin theory, etc.
2013Shoemaker Distinguished Scientist Medal, from NASA Ames's Solar System Exploration Virtual Institute.
2017Included in a list of twenty "Famous Astronomers:...Great Scientists in Astronomy," posted September 5 by, focusing on scientists, from Eratosthenes and Galileo to Edwin Hubble and Stephen Hawking, who replaced "a geocentric view of the universe."  Cited for introducing the current theory of lunar origin.

Hartmann holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy and M.S. in Geology, both from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Physics from Pennsylvania State University.


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