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150K Volunteers Find the Sun's Smallest Neighbors

Live Chat March 18th, 2021

Learn how you can help astronomers discover new worlds!

Biographies of Show Participants


A Los Angeles native, Phil is an alumnus of Yale University and The Groundlings Theater and perhaps is best known as one of the original cast members of MAD TV, as “Hermes” on FUTURAMA,  as "Marvin" in PULP FICTION, “Green Lantern” on JUSTICE LEAGUE and as the voice of SAMURAI JACK. For over 30 years Phil has thrilled audiences with his work on camera and behind the microphone on TV shows such as STATIC SHOCK, FAMILY GUY, STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, the CW’s THE FLASH & SUPERGIRL, GET SHORTY, LUCIFER and VEEP; feature films like MADAGASCAR 2, INCREDIBLES 2, and THE LION KING (2019) and video games including FORTNITE, SHADOW OF MORDOR, and the INJUSTICE, METAL GEAR SOLID, and the MORTAL KOMBAT series.


Dr. Jackie Faherty received her bachelors degree in Physics from the University of Notre Dame and her PhD in Physics from Stony Brook University.  Post PhD, she spent two years at the Universidad de Chile on a National Science Foundation International Research Fellowship (NSF-IRFP) and three years at the Carnegie Institution for Science on a NASA Hubble Fellowship.  She is now a permanent scientific staff member jointly in the department of Astrophysics and the department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).  Dr. Faherty co-runs a dynamic research group at AMNH entitled Brown Dwarfs in New York City (BDNYC) along leading scientists Dr. Kelle Cruz of CUNY Hunter College and Dr. Emily Rice of CUNY Macaulay Honors College.  Her team has won multiple grants from NASA, NSF, and the Heising Simons foundation to support projects focused on characterizing planet-like objects. She has also co-founded the popular citizen science project entitled Backyard Worlds:  Planet 9 which invites the general public to help scan the solar neighborhood for previously missed cold worlds. Dr. Faherty has over 100 peer reviewed articles in Astrophysical journals, has been an invited speaker at University’s and conferences across the globe and is a major advocate for utilizing visualization tools for both science and education advancements.  


Dr. J. Davy Kirkpatrick grew up on a dairy and tobacco farm in middle Tennessee. He received his Bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics/astronomy from Vanderbilt University in 1986. Subsequently he received his Doctorate in astronomy from the University of Arizona in 1992. He is currently a lead research scientist at Caltech/IPAC and has been the lead quality assurance scientist for the 2MASS ground-based survey, and the WISE, NEOWISE, and NEO Surveyor space missions. Dr. Kirkpatrick's research has included the development of the L, T, and Y spectral classes, the determination of the stellar/substellar mass function, and the comparative analysis of brown dwarfs and exoplanets.