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Vishnu Reddy Personal/Professional Page


Vishnu Reddy’s research focuses on asteroids, meteors and meteorites in the Solar System. Asteroids are rocky bodies that predominantly orbit the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and are thought to be remnants of Solar System formation. Some asteroids are perturbed from their orbits in the Main Asteroid Belt to become near-Earth objects (NEOs), which have the potential to impact the Earth and cause catastrophic damage to life and property.

Dr Reddy got his PhD in Earth System Science from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, with the thesis “Mineralogical Survey of Near-Earth Asteroid Population: Implications for Impact Hazard Assessment and Sustainability of Life on Earth.” A majority of this thesis work was done using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Prior to graduate school, he participated in an astrometric survey as an amateur astronomer discovering 23 new Main Belt asteroids and improving orbits of 1000s of other asteroids.

 Dr Reddy started obtaining photometric data of asteroids in 2004 using small robotic telescopes around the world in collaboration with Petr Pravec (Ondrejov Observatory, Czech Republic) as part of a binary asteroid survey. Over the last few years, he has determined the rotation period of 60 Main Belt asteroids and 21 NEOs. Apart from rotation period, I discovered/co-discovered the binary nature of nine new binary asteroid systems, which were published as IAU circulars.

Currently, Dr Reddy’s primary focus is surface composition of asteroids. He is currently working on three spectroscopy projects: a) Olivine-rich asteroids, b) Surface composition analysis of NEOs, b) Baptistina asteroid family (BAF) and their link to the K/T Impact.

Dr Reddy is also member of the Framing Camera (FC) team on NASA’s Dawn mission to asteroids Vesta and Ceres. He works in close collaboration with the FC team at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (Germany) developing science tools and analyzing the multi-color data.

Asteroid (8068) Vishnureddy named by the International Astronomical Union after Dr Reddy.

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