Click a research topic below to access an ADS library of my publications in that area.

Light Curve Software

Development of techniques and software to produce, calibrate, and classify light curves.

Variable Stars

Detection and characterisation of interesting exoplanet systems.


I am committed to increasing diversity and support for under-represented minorities in our community, especially women in STEAM. Here are some of the mentorship and community support efforts I am or have been involved in:

Mentoring@EPSC - Mentor
Caltech Physics, Maths and Astronomy DEIO Committee - Member
NASA ExoExplorers - Steering Committee Member
Caltech Gender Minorities and Women in Physics, Maths and Astronomy (WiPMA) - Faculty Advisor
Letters to a Pre-Scientist - STEM Professional
Astronomy Allies - Ally
NASA GSFC Exoplanet Group - Invited Career Talk
Girls in STEAM Symposium 2020 - Spotlight Speaker
NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars - Lecturer
Caltech Women Mentoring Women - Pod Leader
New York Academy of Sciences 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures - Mentor


As seen on TV.

Al Jazeera - The Stream

I was interviewed on Al Jazeera's daily English newscast, The Stream, about the first images released by JWST. Click for the full segment!

How the Universe Works

I have appeared in one season and filmed for a second season of Science Channel's How the Universe Works. I talk about wild planets, our solar system, white dwarfs, how disasters shaped Earth, and the Voyager missions!

NASA's Unexplained Files

I appeared in eight episodes across two seasons of the Discovery Science channel program 'NASA's Unexplained Files', talking about interesting planets discoveries. Click above for a short clip about Kepler-186f.

The Science Behind "The Expanse"

I joined the cast, writers and production crew of the Syfy show "The Expanse" in a live, recorded panel event at Caltech discussing some of the fantastic science behind the show.

NASA Social - TESS Mission

I was a panelist on the NASA Social TESS mission pre-launch briefing, setting the stage of the current exoplanet landscape to explain the need for a mission like TESS.

The Today Show

I was interviewed on The Today Show, a breakfast talk show in Australia, to chat about why NASA is searching for exoplanets.

As heard on the air:

July, 2024, Planetary Radio: Fifty-five hundred worlds and counting: The astonishing diversity of exoplanets
April, 2024, The Economist's Babbage Podcast: What We Can Learn From Exoplanets
February, 2024, ABC Radio National The Science Show: Exoplanets help answer big questions
March, 2023, A Rational Fear
February, 2023: Archiving Exoplanets with Jessie Christiansen
November, 2022: BBC's The Infinite Monkey Cage: Hunting for Exoplanets
March, 2022: NPR's Science Friday: Over 5,000 Exoplanets Have Now Been Discovered
July, 2021: Swiss Public Radio: Pirouetting in Space
July, 2021: NASA's Curious Universe: Let's Go Planet-Hunting!
July, 2020: Exoplanets: The Search for Another Earth - Audible Original Podcast
May, 2020: NASA & SpaceX - Triple M's Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire
June, 2019: NPR: Astronomers Worry That Elon Musk's New Satellites Will Ruin The View
April, 2019: NPR: Young Astronomer Uses Artificial Intelligence To Discover 2 Exoplanets
March, 2019: ABC Radio National The Science Show: Hunt for exoplanets continues after Kepler
November, 2018: NASA lands on Mars - Triple M's Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire
August, 2018: Space, Nightclubs and Happy Places - Triple M's Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire
August, 2018: From Peak Crossing to NASA - 4BC Drive with Mark Braybrook
June, 2018: Topical Island Podcast: Exoplanets 2 - Wheel of Death
May, 2018: Astrophiz 58: Dr. Jessie Christiansen 'Flying with TESS to a billion planets'
March, 2018: ABC Radio National The Science Show: Exoplanet gem unearthed in Stargazing Live
December, 2017: Surely You're Joking: Jessie Christiansen and the Goldilocks retraction
July, 2017: Spacepod Episode 102: A thrilling tale of discovery with Dr. Christiansen
May, 2016: Surely You're Joking: Jessie Christiansen and the hedonic treadmill of planets
April, 2016: Spacepod Episode 42: Finding Exoplanets with Dr. Christiansen

Jessie recording a podcast

Press releases, news articles and quotes...

5,000 Exoplanets at the NASA Exoplanet Archive
In March, 2022, the NASA Exoplanet Archive reached 5,000 confirmed exoplanets! Here is a spectacular visualization of the milestone made by the folks at System Sounds.

And here is some press about the milestone. We made NPR Science Friday's Thanksgiving holiday special of 'science we are thankful for'!
3/21/22, NASA: Cosmic Milestone: NASA Confirms 5,000 Exoplanets
3/21/22, Caltech: Exoplanet Count Tops 5,000
3/22/22, The Atlantic: We've Found 5,000 Exoplanets and We're Still Alone
3/25/22, NPR's Science Friday: Over 5,000 Exoplanets Have Now Been Discovered"

Dinosaurs in SPAAAAAAAAACE coverage
Did you know that dinosaurs lived on the other side of the galaxy? Here's a short animation I made showing how the solar system orbits around the center of the galaxy, and where the Earth was when some of your favourite dinosaurs reigned!

And here is some press about the animation:
7/14/20, Buzzfeed: 20 Fascinating Things I Learned From Twitter That I Can't Believe Never Came Up In School
11/13/19, CNN: Earth Was On The Other Side Of the Galaxy When Dinosaurs Reigned
11/9/19, MSN: Mind-blower: NASA says dinosaurs lived on the other side of the galaxy
11/8/19, IFLScience: Dinosaurs Lived On The Other Side Of The Galaxy, NASA Astrophysicist Demonstrates
11/7/19, Business Insider: A NASA scientist's incredible animation shows how dinosaurs roamed the Earth on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy

K2-138 coverage:
2/8/18, AAS Afternoon Astronomy Coffee Hangout: 5 Alien Worlds: Planetary system around K2-138
1/15/18, Cosmos: Music of the spheres: chain of planets rotates at "perfect fifth" intervals
1/12/18, BBC News: Citizen science bags five-planet haul
1/12/18, Gizmodo: Star System With Five Rocky Planets Discovered by Amateur Astronomers
1/11/18, Caltech press release: Citizen Scientists Discover Five-Planet System

The folks at System Sounds have created a beautiful visual and aural experience of our new exoplanet system. It is SO COOL. Every time one of the planets passes between us and the star, it makes a note. The tone of the note (how high or low it is) is determined by the planet's orbital period. It sounds so pretty because of the cool chain of resonances that these planets are in! Have a listen!

Other articles and quotes:

6/26/24, New Scientist, Why Our Location In The Milky Way Is Perfect For Finding Alien Life
6/1/24, BBC, The mysterious pairs of planets we still can't explain
3/12/24, BBC, Where we might find aliens in the next decade
1/24/24, Quanta Magazine, The Best Neighborhoods for Starting a Life in the Galaxy

12/7/23,, Exoplanet hunters: What it takes to find needles in a cosmic haystack
11/27/23, Wired, Dr. Jessie Christiansen Wants to Help You Discover the Next Exoplanet
11/17/23,, Some exoplanets are shrinking. Here's why
11/15/23, NASA: NASA Data Reveals Possible Reason Some Exoplanets Are Shrinking
11/13/23, MIT Technology Review: The Biggest Questions: Are we alone in the universe?
9/15/23, Axios: Alien atmospheres are helping scientists search for life
5/8/23, New York Times, Webb Telescope Finds a Star Cloaked in 3 Rings of Ruined Worlds
5/4/23, Business Wire, 2023 International Day of Light celebrated with “Possible Through Light” campaign
3/13/23,, Super-Earths and the quest to understand our place in the cosmos
3/7/23, Popular Science, Sorry, Star Trek fans, the real planet Vulcan doesn’t exist
2/21/23, Space News, Envisioning the next generation of space telescopes

8/30/22, Nature: Webb telescope spots CO2 on exoplanet for first time: what it means for finding alien life
8/16/22, Axios: A new chapter in the search for alien planets
8/16/22, BBC Sky at Night magazine: 5,000 Exoplanets... And Counting?
7/14/22, 12 Scientists React to the Webb Telescope's First Images
6/13/22, Nature: Mega-map of Milky Way adds depth to stars’ motions
4/13/22, Nature: China is Hatching a Plan to Find Earth 2.0
1/13/22, Scientific American: Astronomers Have Found Another Possible ‘Exomoon’ beyond Our Solar System

12/22/21, ScienceLine: Which worlds might be watching us?
12/2/21, This Hellish Planet Could Come Equipped With "Lava Oceans”
12/1/21, Caltech: Exoplanet Bonanza
11/1/21, Daily Beast: How 'Talkative' Stars Could be Telling on Hidden Planets
8/11/21, The Atlantic: Faraway Planets Don’t Seem So Distant Anymore
5/11/21, Spaceflight Insider: Exoplanets and their characterization the focus of STScI workshop
3/26/21, NASA's TESS planet hunter spied 2,200 candidate worlds in its first 2 years
2/20/21, Universe Today: Just Some of the Planets That TESS Has Found Nearby
2/12/21, Science Daily: NASA's TESS discovers new worlds in a river of young stars

11/5/20, New Scientist: There could be around 5 billion habitable planets in the Milky Way
7/13/20, Phys.Org: Artificial intelligence predicts which planetary systems will survive
6/25/20, Axios: Newfound exoplanets aren't too far from Earth
4/20/20, NASA: The Weirdest Solar System We've Found So Far? You May Be In It
1/21/20, Axios: Astronomy's existential crisis

12/23/19, Business Insider: Astronomers found 6 unusual new planets
12/16/19, Another Day, Another Exoplanet, and Scientists Just Can't Keep Up
11/19/19, NASA: Why Do Scientists Search for Exoplanets? Here Are 7 Reasons
9/11/19, Axios: Water vapor detected in the atmosphere of a super-Earth
8/28/19, NASA: Is Earth an Oddball?
8/4/19, New Scientist: Two planets orbiting a nearby star could have oceans and maybe life
8/2/19, Scientific American: One Search to (Almost) Rule Them All: Hundreds of Hidden Planets Found in Kepler Data
6/5/19, Washington Post: Elon Musk's satellites threaten to disrupt the night sky for all of us
5/28/19, National Geographic: 18 Earth-size planets found in our galaxy—all hiding in plain sight
5/27/19, Forbes: SpaceX's Starlink Could Change The Night Sky Forever, And Astronomers Are Not Happy
5/23/19, Gizmodo: Astronomers Spy Three Comets Circling a Nearby Star
1/28/19, Gizmodo: What's the Worst Planet?
1/11/19, NBC News: Citizen scientists discover strange new world that pro astronomers missed
1/8/19, How to Tune a Star System: Alien World Complicates Harmony of Multiplanet System
1/7/19, Gizmodo: Government Shutdown Puts Damper on America's Major Astronomy Conference
8/10/18, Simulation: Dr Jessie Christiansen - The Exoplanet Gatekeeper
9/25/18, To Find Alien Life, NASA Needs Bigger, Bolder Exoplanet-Hunting Telescopes
8/18/18, Bendigo Advertiser: Why the next generation of scientists will be women
8/15/18, The West Australian: NASA's Aussie planet hunter looks for life
8/15/18, Cosmos: Queensland looks to the skies this week
8/13/18, Ballarat Courier: Ballarat visit for the Australian planet hunter looking for other worlds
8/8/18, New NASA Planet Hunter May Find 10,000 Alien Worlds in Just Two Years
8/1/18, Gizmodo: This Solar System Catalogue Could Be Key To Finding An Earth-Like Exoplanet
7/31/18, Griffith News: Stellar Science graduates to shine at Alumni Awards
7/31/18, Gizmodo Australia: NASA's TESS Spacecraft Has Begun Its Search For Faraway Planets
5/14/18, Gizmodo: Spacecraft May Have Flown Right Through a Plume of Water on Jupiter's Moon Europa
5/3/18, CBS New York: NASA Getting Help Exploring The Universe From 'Citizen Scientists'
4/18/18, Washington Post: NASA's newest planet hunter launches successfully
3/27/18, Newsweek: Newly discovered Earth-sized planet K2-229b could reveal how Mercury was created
2/15/18, Newsweek: NASA Kepler' K2 Mission scientists discover 95 new planets beyond our solar system

8/8/17, Christian Science Monitor: Hunt for other worlds: 3,500 exoplanets and counting
6/11/17, HD 3167d: New Super-Earth Discovered around Nearby Star
4/18/17, USCS News: Planet hunting citizen scientists produce quick results for astronomers
3/1/17, Christian Science Monitor: Could the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets harbor alien life?

10/3/16, New Scientist: Superfast spinning stars cause strangest weather in the universe
9/6/16, FiveThirtyEight: Why It's So Hard to Find the Next Earth, Even if You're Looking Right At It
7/6/16, How a Young Jupiter Acted as Both Protector and Destroyer
5/10/16, BBC News Hour: On Kepler's Discovery of 1284 New Planets
1/7/16, BBC Science News: Star clumps harbour 'sweet spot' in search for alien life


Here is a blog post I wrote for the Society of Women Engineers about the difference between outreach and reaching out, and the importance of considering accessibility issues in astronomy outreach.

Explore Exoplanets: The Discoverers

Explore Exoplanets - The Discoverers

Caltech/IPAC has a new podcast/web series called Explore Exoplanets: The Discoverers, and I am the host!!! Please check out my interviews with my esteemed colleagues who have discovered their own exoplanets - how they did it, how they felt, and what's next. We also talk about their favourite fictional planet, and I do a deep dive into the NASA Exoplanet Archive to find the closest real-world analogue!

Exoplanet Roulette - Choose. Your. Fate.

PSO J318.5+22
WD 1145+017
HD 189733 b
Kepler-78 b
alpha Cen B b
Kepler-452 b
Kepler-186 f
OGLE-2005-BLG-390L b
55 Cnc e
WASP-76 b

Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places

During the covid pandemic, the Exoplanet Demographics conference that I organized movely fully virtual. Wanting to exploit the format to explore some new, innovative outreach ideas, Heather Clitheroe and I teamed up to produce "Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places", a daily zine during the conference comprising short stories, poetry, and art inspired by the science results being presented that day.
Thank you so much to all the amazing contributors, and without further ado, please enjoy!!

Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Monday Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Tuesday Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Wednesday Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Thursday Heavy Metal Jupiters and Other Places - Friday


Jessie on stage at TED2022

I love talking to the public about astronomy, our beautiful sky, and the exciting hunt for planets outside out solar system. I am so lucky that I get the opportunity!

Here are some upcoming and recent events:

June: Panelist, 2024 Nebula Awards, Pasadena CA
June: Guest speaker, Mt Wilson Observatory, Pasadena CA
October: Guest speaker, Linda Hall Library, Kansas City MO
August: Guest speaker, NerdNite LA, Glendale CA
April: Moderator, Harvard Book Store: Phil Plait discusses "Under Alien Skies"
April: Guest speaker, PUSD Science Festival, Pasadena CA
March: Guest speaker, World Science Festival, Brisbane
March: Guest speaker, University of Southern Queensland

November: TEDx talk, TEDxGateway
August: Guest speaker, LEGO Creative Play Lab
August: Guest speaker, D&D Beyond: The Science of Spelljammer
June: Guest speaker, BBC's The Infinite Monkey Cage
June: Speaker, Astronomy on Tap, Pasadena CA
May: Guest speaker, The Story Collider: Los Angeles - Setbacks
May: Guest speaker, W. M. Keck Observatory Public Lecture Series
May: Guest speaker, All Space Considered, Griffith Observatory
May: Guest speaker, Reason with Science
April: TED talk, TED2022
March: Panelist, SXSW
February: Panelist, Gallifrey One: Thirty-Second to Midnight
February: Guest speaker, Daniel & Jorge Explain the Universe: What is the future of exoplanet research?
January: Guest speaker, The Science Pawdcast: Exoplanets with NASA Scientist Dr. Jessie Christiansen

December: Guest speaker, Greenway Talk Series
November: Guest speaker, Malibu Library Speaker Series
October: Guest speaker, SETI Live for World Space Week
July: Guest speaker, Strange New Worlds Podcast: Diversity in STEM and Star Trek
May: Monthly guest, Space Radio with Paul Sutter
May: Guest speaker, Eastbay Astronomical Society
April: Guest speaker, Universe Today with Fraser Cain
April: Panelist, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party
April: Alfred Curtis Lecture, British Astronomical Association
March: Guest speaker, San Jose Astronomical Association
February: Panelist, SETI Talks: Strange and Intriguing Exoplanets
Feburary: Guest speaker, Kalamazoo Astronomical Society

November: Host, World-Building: How Science Sculpts Science Fiction
October: Guest speaker, George Mason University Virtual Evening Under the Stars
September: Guest speaker, Tellus Science Museum Exoplanet Workshop
August: Spotlight speaker, Griffith University Open House, Spotlight on STEM
July: Guest speaker, East Valley Astronomy Club
May: Guest speaker, Central Coast Astronomical Society
April: Featured speaker, Wildwood Institute for Stem Research and Development
April: Presenter, Astronomy on Tap on the Couch!
March: Spotlight speaker, Girls in STEAM Symposium 2020
February: Panelist, "The Plausible (and Implausible!) Worlds of Doctor Who" at Gallifrey One
February: Podcast guest, Starts With A Bang

November: Guest speaker, CSUN Planetarium Star Show
October: Guest speaker, Spellbound Episode 84: Exoplanets w/ NASA's Dr. Jessie Christiansen
September: Guest speaker, 2019 Idaho Star Party
August: Guest speaker, AIAA LA-LV Dinner Meeting
May: Guest speaker, College of the Canyons Star Party
April: John D. Schopp Memorial Lecture, San Diego
March: Guest speaker, Open Space 30: Searching for Exoplanets with Dr. Jessie Christiansen
March: von Kármán Lecture, Pasadena
January: Host, Girl Scout Troop 5151 at Caltech Lecture and Lunar Eclipse Viewing

2018 - National Science Week, Australia
August 11th, 3pm @ Shipinn Southbank, Brisbane: "On the Road to a Billion Planets"
August 13th, 10am @ RMIT University, Melbourne: "Truth is Stranger than Science Fiction - A NASA Scientist Tells"
August 13th, 7:15pm @ Scienceworks, Melbourne: "NASA's Planet Hunters: Panel discussion with Dr Jessie Christiansen"
August 14th, 11am @ Discovery Science & Technology Centre, Bendigo: "NASA Exoplanet Scientist Talk"
August 14th, 6:15pm @ Ballarat Observatory, Ballarat: "Truth is Stranger than (Science) Fiction"
August 16th, 6:30pm @ Gold Coast City Libraries, Robina: "NASA on tour: Our incredible universe"
August 17th, 6pm @ USQ Toowoomba: USQ Winter Festival of Astronomy Main Event, "On the Road to a Billion Planets"
August 18th, 4pm @ Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, Brisbane: "Truth is Stranger than (Science) Fiction"

September: Speaker, Local Group Astronomy Club, Santa Clarita CA
August: Special lecturer, USQ Winter Festival of Astronomy, Toowoomba QLD
July: Panelist, San Diego Comic Con
June: Speaker, Evening with the Pros, Society for Astronomical Sciences
April: Speaker, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party (video recording)
March: Speaker, Riverside Astronomical Society
March: Speaker, NASA's Universe of Learning Science Briefing
February: Guest speaker, Exolife Hangout: Finding Earth 2.0
February: Guest speaker, Weekly Space Hangout: Dr. Jessie Christiansen and "Exoplanet Explorers"

December: Panelist, Is the Earth Special?
December: Podcast guest, Surely You're Joking!
October: Caltech Astronomy presents Sidewalk Astronomy in Old Town Pasadena
August: Panelist, The Official Star Trek 2017 Convention
August: Telescope captain, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party
July: Podcast guest, Spacepod
April: Speaker, Society for Astronomical Sciences
February: Speaker, Los Angeles Astronomical Society

October: Telescope captain, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party
August: Speaker, NASA's Universe of Learning Science Briefing
August: Speaker, Caltech Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing Party
June: Speaker, Astronomy on Tap
June: Speaker, AAS 228 Student Education and Outreach Event
May: Podcast guest, Surely You're Joking!
April: Podcast guest, Spacepod

And, if you made it to the bottom of this page, enjoy a bonus picture of one of the highlights of my career, organizing a panel of amazing science fiction writers Becky Chambers, Simon Guerrier, Mary Robinette Kowal, and John Scalzi, emceed by the Bad Astronomer himself, Phil Plait!!

World Building Webinar