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Dr. John Weirich

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Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Currently resides in Tucson, AZ
jweirich [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Asteroids, Comets, Earth, Moon, Small satellites
Disciplines/Techniques: Geology, Mineralogy, Shape modeling
Missions: OSIRIS-REx

Research Interests

Dr. John Weirich’s areas of interest include the study of shocked meteorites and terrestrial impact products. He has also been engaged in the study of asteroids. His work involves both laboratory measurements and computer modeling of those results. He incorporates field studies of terrestrial impact sites to understand the impact process, from impactor to craters. His laboratory work involving meteorites (such as Ar-Ar age dating of shocked meteorites and Ar diffusion measurements and modeling as applied to shock pressures in various minerals) and computer modeling of laboratory data to understand the collisional history of asteroids. He is currently testing Stereo-Photoclinometry (SPC) code written by Dr. Bob Gaskell to determine the limitations of the code when creating a shape model of asteroid Bennu for the OSIRIS-REx mission. During operations he will be building the shape model that will be used for sample collection and other general science.

Professional History

Dr. Weirich received his PhD in Planetary Science in 2011 from the University of Arizona where he was involved in related projects involving geochronology, geochemistry, and diffusion in extraterrestrial rocks (mostly ordinary chondritic meteorites). He was a post-doctoral researcher at Arizona State University, studying geochronology and geochemistry of Apollo 17 samples and granite from Crazy Basin, Arizona. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Western Ontario where he studied the geochemistry of Sudbury Breccia at the Sudbury Impact Structure, Canada, before he returned to Arizona in 2015 as a postdoctoral research scientist to support the OSIRIS-REx mission.

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