BS, University of Maryland; MS, Ph.D., University of California
- Joel Kastner (Ph.D. in Astronomy, UCLA 1990) is a Professor on the faculty of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Imaging Science and School of Physics & Astronomy. He was the founding Director of RIT's Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics.
- Prior to his two decades at RIT, Prof. Kastner spent almost a decade at MIT, first as Bantrell Postdoc at MIT Haystack Radio Observatory and then as staff scientist with MIT's side of the Chandra (then AXAF) X-ray Science Center.
- Prof. Kastner's research interests lie in the early and late stages of stellar evolution -- i.e., the formative stages of stars and planetary systems, and their death throes. He has conducted observations of forming and dying stars and stellar systems across a broad swath of the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio to X-rays.
- Prof. Kastner was among the original group of (roughly 230) astronomers named as "Legacy" Fellows of the American Astronomical Society in 2020, and presently serves as Chair of the AAS Committee on Employment.
- A complete list of Prof. Kastner's publications can be found at this link to NASA's Astrophysics Data System.
In the News
July 25, 2023
RIT professor co-authors paper on new planetary formation findings
Joel Kastner, a professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and School of Physics and Astronomy, and a team of researchers with the European Southern Observatory have discovered new evidence of how planets as massive as Jupiter can form.
May 4, 2023
RIT scientist helps explore mysterious shadow play around planet-forming disk
Professor Joel Kastner from RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and School of Physics and Astronomy is part of a team of scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope to study how the changing patterns of shadows cast on the dusty disks orbiting young stars can reveal the presence of newly formed planets.
December 8, 2022
New James Webb Space Telescope study outlines ‘the messy death of a multiple star system’
Scientists have reconstructed what they call “the messy death of a multiple star system” using some of the first images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, plus existing data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia observatory. RIT scientists contributed to a Nature Astronomy paper outlining how the Southern Ring Nebula received its unique shape.