HR: Employment Opportunities
 
 Job posting 18-20
Opening date: March 30, 2018
Closing date:June 30, 2018

TITLE: Astronomer (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow), IS-1330, Grades 11 - 12 $67,643 to $105,400 annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund, Temporary, Not To Exceed Two Years
DIVISION: - SSP Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: All qualified candidates
First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date. Selection may be made at either of the above grade levels. If selection is made at the grade 11, the selectee may be non-competitively promoted to the grade 12 upon recommendation of the Professional Accomplishments Evaluation Committee (PAEC).

This advert is for the position of Astronomer (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow) in the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences Division (SSP) of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Holman. The purpose of this position is to undertake theoretical and observational research related to (a) the detection of Solar System minor planets, and (b) the orbital dynamics of Solar System objects.

DUTIES:

1. Undertake scientific research drawn from the list of potential research topics below:

a. Contribute to the ongoing IMACS occultation survey for sub-km KBOs by undertaking observations using the IMACS instrument on the Magellan Baade telescope.

b. Contribute to the ongoing IMACS occultation survey for sub-km KBOs by refining the data analysis pipeline used to reduce the observational data and detect occultation events.

c. Conduct an unbiased survey of Centaurs and other outer Solar System objects using extant Pan-STARRS data. It is anticipated that this data search will utilize novel heliocentric linking algorithms developed by Holman & Payne.

d. Use the novel heliocentric linking algorithms developed by Holman & Payne to conduct an analysis of the combined Pan-STARRS and DES data sets, with the aim of discovering new Trans-Neptunian Objects and Centaurs.

e. Assist in the augmentation of the novel heliocentric linking algorithms developed by Holman& Payne, with the aim of making said algorithms able to robustly link observations of fast-moving objects (such as NEOs) across long time-spans.

f. Undertake dynamical investigations to elucidate the dynamics of the outer Solar System, with the aim of understanding whether the observed properties of the trans-Neptunian objects can be used to constrain the existence and/or orbit of the putative Planet-9.

2. Prepare scientific manuscripts for journal publication, and present results at relevant scientific meetings and conferences

3. Perform other scientific duties identified by the Supervisor.

4. Formulate and conduct original programs of independent astronomical research, with an emphasis on understanding the Solar System's minor planets.

Additional duties at Grade 12:

Formulate and conduct original programs of independent astronomical research, with an emphasis on understanding the Solar System's minor planets

QUALIFICATIONS:

Basic Requirements:

A. A degree: in one or a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, space science, or electronics. The course work must have included differential and integral calculus and 12 semester hours in astronomy and/or physics. OR

B. Combination of education and experience -- at least 30 semester hours of courses equivalent to a major in any combination of astronomy, space science, physics, mathematics, and electronics, with required course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have specialized experience and/or directly related education in the amounts shown below:

Grade 11:

A. Master's or equivalent graduate degree; or

B. 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 09 that should demonstrate the experience and ability to conduct either (i) research into the dynamics of Solar System objects; (ii) the writing of data analysis pipelines for the processing of observational data; or (iii) the analysis of data from large astronomical surveys. OR

C. A combination of successfully completed graduate level education and experience equivalent to the above

Grade 12:

A. Ph.D. degree or equivalent graduate degree; or

B. 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 11 that should demonstrate the experience and ability to conduct either (i) research into the dynamics of Solar System objects; (ii) the writing of data analysis pipelines for the processing of observational data; or (iii) the analysis of data from large astronomical surveys. OR

C. A combination of successfully completed graduate level education and experience equivalent to the above.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. For complete information about this position and the online application procedures, please visit: USAJOBS

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