Welcome to the homepage of Jason Surace. I am an astronomer specializing in pan-chromatic studies of star-formation and AGN, with an emphasis on the evolution of galaxies and quasars in the local universe through galaxy mergers. Most of my work involves advanced imaging techniques including adaptive optics, and is mostly centered in the infrared. I am also a specialist in space-based astronomical telescopes and instruments. Recently I have been branching out into space rocks - there is something a lot more satisfying studying things you can actually go to, as opposed to the distant universe, which isn’t even remotely in our own time reference frame.

The images above represent the universe going outwards. At left is me paddle boarding in Maunalua Bay here on Oahu. To my left (your right!) is Saturn in the near-infrared taken from the UH 88-inch telescope. Next is the Crab Nebulae in the optical, taken by the Palomar Transient Factory. This is followed by M101 (the Pinwheel Galaxy) and Arp 271 (an interacting pair of galaxies) also from PTF. Next on the right in blue is the ultraluminous infrared galaxy Arp 220 as observed by the 88-inch. The black-and-white galaxies in the background lie at high redshift in the Spitzer/IRAC Dark Field and were observed with the ACS instrument on-board HST. In this montage, I took all the data and so it also represents my science interests.

For nearly 25 years I was a senior research astronomer and member of the professional staff at IPAC at the California Institute of Technology. For most of that time I was an instrument scientist for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, working with IRAC, the short wavelength (3-10 micron) camera, for which I developed the data processing algorithms and calibration methodology. For the last ten of those years I was the data systems lead for the Palomar Transient Factory and the Zwicky Transient Facility, managing the data processing and archiving group. Most recently I operated as an independent researcher through Eureka Scientific, as well as being a consultant for Caltech and NASA. Currently I am a “planetary defense scientist” (which sure sounds cool), devoting almost all my spare clock cycles to the NEO Surveyor project through Caltech.

I was born in upstate New York, grew up in Houston, and lived the majority of my life at Caltech in Pasadena, California. In 2016 I relocated back to my second hometown in Honolulu, where I am likely to remain for the duration.

To quote James T. Kirk. Would you believe I built the digitizer myself to take this sample, on an Amiga 3000?

I hope you find this new web site easier to navigate. I actually had one of the first few hundred web sites back in ’93. And while my old one had what was once a particularly innovative image map, over time it became impossibly unwieldy to maintain. Hence this whole new arrangement, and I am ashamed to say, the use of authoring tools beyond “vi”.