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Michael Ressler

Photo of Michael Ressler


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 5/1/1979

Pasadena, CA 91109





Member of:

Interstellar and Heliospheric Physics

MIRI (JWST) Project Scientist


  • S. B., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1986)
  • M. S., Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa (1988)
  • Ph. D., Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa (1992)

Professional Experience

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1992-Present)

  • Project Scientist, JWST Mid-Infrared Instrument (2003-Present)
  • Principal Scientist, Astrophysics and Gravitation Group (2005-Present)
  • Research Scientist, Astrophysics Research Element (1998-2005)
  • Scientist, Astrophysics Research Element (1994-1998)
  • National Research Council Research Associate (1992-1994)

Research Interests

  • Binary/multiple protostar systems. Focus has been on "infrared companion" systems where the companions appear to be in a different evolutionary class from the primary; such systems provide strong tests of star formation models by constraining theoretical pre-main-sequence evolutionary tracks.
  • Initial Mass Functions of star forming clouds. Attempt to derive luminosities of stars in star forming clouds through near- and mid-infrared measurements to estimate the distribution of the masses of young stars without "contamination" by multiplicity. This is another key test of star formation theory.
  • Infrared astronomical instrumentation. Projects have included cameras, spectrometers, and polarimeters over the 1 - 30 micron wavelength range for large ground-based and space-based observatories. Additional focus on the detector arrays at the heart of these systems.

Selected Awards

  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (2013)
  • Robert H. Goddard Award for Exceptional Achievement for Science (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award WISE Project Science Team (2011)
  • JPL Lew Allen Award for Excellence (1998)

Selected Publications

  1. Ressler, M. E., Cohen, M., Wachter, S., Hoard, D. W., Mainzer, A. K., Wright, E. L. 2010, "The Discovery of Infrared Rings in the Planetary Nebula NGC 1514 During the WISE All-sky Survey," AJ, 140, 1882.
  2. Barsony, M., Ressler, M. E., and Marsh, K. A. 2005, "A Mid-Infrared Imaging Survey of Embedded Young Stellar Objects in the rho Ophiuchi Cloud Core," ApJ, 630, 381.
  3. Ressler, M. E. and Barsony, M. 2003, "Structure of the Mid-Infrared-Emitting Disk Around WL 16," ApJ, 584, 832.
  4. Haisch, K. E., Jr., Barsony, M., Greene, T. P., and Ressler, M. E. 2002, "An Infrared Multiplicity Survey of Class I/Flat-Spectrum Systems in the rho Ophiuchi and Serpens Molecular Clouds," AJ, 124, 2841.
  5. Ressler, M. E. and Barsony, M. 2001, "A Luminous Infrared Companion in the Young Triple System WL 20," AJ, 121, 1098.
  6. Koerner, D.W., Ressler, M. E., Werner, M.W., and Backman, D. E. 1998, "Mid-Infrared Imaging of a Circumstellar Disk Around HR 4796: Mapping the Debris of Planetary Formation," ApJL, 503, 83L.
  7. Ressler, M. E., Werner, M. W., Van Cleve, J., and Chou, H. A. 1994, "The JPL Deep-Well Mid-Infrared Array Camera," Experimental Astronomy, 3, 277.
  8. Ressler, M. E. and Shure, M. 1991, "Two Protostar Candidates in the Bright-Rimmed Dark Cloud LDN 1206," AJ, 102, 1398.