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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Frederick P. Rose Director, Hayden Planetarium

Ph.D., Columbia University, 1991 “A Study of the Abundance Distributions Along the Minor Axis of the Galactic Bulge”


Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s professional research interests are broad, but include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our Milky Way. Tyson obtains his data from the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as from telescopes in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and in the Andes Mountains of Chile.

In 2001, Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on a 12-member commission that studied the Future of the US Aerospace Industry. The final report was published in 2002 and contained recommendations (for Congress and for the major agencies of the government) that would promote a thriving future of transportation, space exploration, and national security.

In 2004, Tyson was once again appointed by President Bush to serve on a 9-member commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy, dubbed the “Moon, Mars, and Beyond” commission. This group navigated a path by which the new space vision can become a successful part of the American agenda. And in 2006, the head of NASA appointed Tyson to serve on its prestigious Advisory Council, which will help guide NASA through its perennial need to fit its ambitious vision into its restricted budget.

In addition to dozens of professional publications, Dr. Tyson has written, and continues to write for the public. He is a monthly essayist for Natural History magazine under the title “Universe.” And among Tyson’s eight books is his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist; and Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith. Origins is the companion book to the PBS-NOVA 4-part mini-series Origins, in which Tyson serves as on-camera host. Beginning in the fall of 2006, Tyson hosts the PBS-NOVA’s spinoff program NOVA ScienceNow, which is an acessible look at the frontier of all the science that shapes the understanding of our place in the universe.

Tyson is the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium.


S. Tribiano, T. A. D. Paglione, P. L. Shopbell, P. Capak, M. Kitbichler, C. T. Liu, B. Mobasher, N. Scoville, and N. D. Tyson 2006, “The High-Redshift Distribution of Starburst Galaxies in the COSMOS Field”, Astrophysical Journal Letters xxx, Submitted

Charles T. Liu , Peter Capak , Bahram Mobasher, Timothy A. D. Paglione , Nicholas Z. Scoville, Shana M. Tribiano, and Neil D. Tyson 2006, “The Faint End Slope Of Starburst Galaxy Luminosity Functions In The COSMOS 2-Square Degree Field”, Astrophysical Journal xxx, In Press

N. Scoville, H. Aussel, M. Brusa, P. Capak, C. M. Carollo, M. Elvis, M. Giavalisco, L. Guzzo1, G. Hasinger, C. Impey, J.-P. Kneib, O. LeFevre, S. J. Lilly, B. Mobasher, A. Renzini, R. M. Rich, D. B. Sanders, E. Schinnerer, D. Schminovich, P. Shopbell, Y. Taniguchi, and N. D. Tyson 2006, “The Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) – Overview”, Astrophysical Journal xxx, In Press

P. Lira, et al. 1998, “Optical Light Curves of the Type Ia Supernovae 1990N and 1991T”, Astronomical Journal 115, 234

M. Hamuy, et al. 1996, “BVRI Light Curves For 29 Type Ia Supernovae”, Astronomical Journal 112, 2408

L. A. Wells, et al. 1994, “The Type Ia Supernova 1989B in NGC3627 (M66)” Astronomical Journal 108, 2233

B. P. Schmidt, et al. 1994, “The Expanding Photosphere Method Applied to SN1992am at cz = 14600 km s-1″ Astronomical Journal 107, 1444

Neil D. Tyson, Michael W. Richmond, Michael Woodhams, & Luca Ciotti 1993 “On the Possibility of a Major Impact on the Uranus in the Past Century” Astronomy & Astrophysics (Research Notes) 275, 630

Neil D. Tyson & Roy R. Gal 1993, “An Exposure Guide for Taking Twilight Flatfields with Large Format CCDs” Astronomical Journal 105, 1206

Neil D. Tyson & R. Michael Rich 1991, “Radial Velocity Distribution and Line Strengths of 33 Carbon Stars in the Galactic Bulge”, Astrophysical Journal 367, 547

Neil D. Tyson 1988, “On the possibility of Gas-Rich Dwarf Galaxies in the Lyman-alpha Forest”, Astrophysical Journal (Letters) 329, L57

Neil D. Tyson & John M. Scalo 1988, “Bursting Dwarf Galaxies: Implications for Luminosity Function, Space Density, and Cosmological Mass Density”, Astrophysical Journal 329, 618

Bruce A. Twarog & Neil D. Tyson 1985, “uvby Photometry of Blue Stragglers in NGC 7789″, Astronomical Journal 90, 1247


  • American Astronomical Society (Board Member)
  • New York Academy of Sciences (Fellow)
  • American Physical Society
  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • International Planetarium Society
  • National Society of Black Physicists


  • Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science, 2008, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • The Time 100: voted by the Editors of Time Magazine (May 4, 2007) as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
  • Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science, 2007, Williams College, Williamstown, MA
  • Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science, 2006, Pace University, New York, NY
  • NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, 2004, the highest honor awarded by NASA to a non-government civilian
  • Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters, 2004, City University of New York, College of Staten Island, NY
  • Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science, 2003, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
  • Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science, 2002, Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, NJ
  • Asteroid “121213 Tyson” renamed from Asteroid 1994KA on November 19, 2000, by the International Astronomical Union (main-belt asteroid peaking at Vmag=16.9)
  • Medal of Excellence, 2001, Columbia University
  • 2001 American Institute of Physics “Science Writing Award” awarded to One Universe (co-author)
  • Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science, 2001, University of Richmond, VA
  • Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science, 2000, Dominican College, Orangeburg, NY
  • Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science, 2000, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ
  • Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science, 1997, York College, CUNY
  • “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” in People magazine’s annual “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, November 2000



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