S.B., S.M., Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stephen SlivanInstructor in Astronomy Laboratory
Astronomer focused on the Koronis family of asteroids; teaches introductory astronomy at Wellesley and MIT.
In my research I use the Sawyer 24-inch telescope on campus to study the spin properties of asteroids. My observing program mainly targets members of the Koronis family of asteroids, which are thought to be shattered remains of a single body that was catastrophically disrupted by a collision. The Koronis family is part of the main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, and family member (243) Ida was visited by the Galileo spacecraft in 1993.
I mainly teach the evening laboratory sessions for Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology. In January I usually lead the MIT/Wellesley Astronomy Field Camp, and in the spring semester I sometimes teach a section of the MIT seminar Observing Stars and Planets. From time to time at Wellesley I've also taught Astronomical Techniques and Our Place in Space and Time. Prior to working at Wellesley I taught similar hands-on astronomy subjects at MIT and at Colgate University, as well as subjects in planetary science, electronics and instrumentation, and software engineering.