Celestial Dynamicist

Posted on
Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) within the Natural Environments Branch at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)
City: Huntsville
State/Province: AL
Country: USA
Contact Person: Nancy Bates
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Jacobs
Application Due Date: Sunday, December 31 2017
Web Link: https://jacobs.taleo.net/careersection/ex/jobdetail.ftl?job=AS0001NF&tz=GMT-05%3A00

The Engineering & Science Services and Skills Augmentation (ESSSA) contract provides engineering, scientific and engineering technician support to NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL.  Come join the team whose work is destined to have a long-range effect on future generations!

 To learn more about:

  The ESSSA Group, visit http://YesWeAreRocketScientists.com  

  The Huntsville area, visit http://www.huntsville.org/


As a CELESTIAL DYNAMICIST the selected candidate will support the Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) within the Natural Environments Branch at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The selected candidate will work to improve NASA’s knowledge of the meteoroid environment, particularly with regard to those particles posing a hazard to spacecraft. 

Duties may include the following: 

• Assisting in the development and improvement of meteoroid environment models throughout the Solar System
• Analyzing the data obtained from visual observers, meteor camera networks, telescopic instrumentation, and in-situ measurements to derive quantities (speeds, fluxes, masses, densities, etc.) pertinent to the development of meteor models
• Developing supplemental models to support the MEO’s main products (the Meteoroid Engineering Model and meteor shower forecasts)
• Tracking meteor events and updating the US Government and public on the circumstances surrounding these events

• At least a BS degree from an ABET accredited institution in Astronomy or Physics or a related field with a minimum of 6 years’ experience in dynamical astronomy, or a PhD in Astronomy or Physics meeting the publication requirement

• Must have published papers (as first author) on solar system dynamics in peer-reviewed astronomical journals such as Icarus, Earth, Moon, and Planets, the Astronomical Journal, or the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 
• Ability to write effectively without assistance
• Expertise in one or more computer languages, preferably Python or the C family
• A strong, demonstrated math background
• The ability to be proactive and complete tasks with minimal direction
• The ability to be flexible in easily transitioning between work assignments


• PhD or equivalent degree/experience in Astronomy or Physics with a specialty in Solar System dynamics or small body dynamics
• Ability in 2 or more computer languages

Essential Functions

Work Environment

Office environment. Requires ability to provide clear, concise, accurate and timely communication, both verbally and in writing (100%). Requires ability to interact professionally with co-workers, management, and client (100%). Requires travel in the domestic USA (<15%).

Physical Requirements 

Requires sitting for extended periods of time in meetings with peers, management, and with our client at NASA facilities to discuss technical issues (10%). Also, requires sitting for extended periods of time at a desk to write reports and perform engineering tasks (80%). Requires ability to use stairs or elevators for access between floors and multiple buildings at NASA and Jacobs facilities (10%).

Equipment and Machines 

Requires ability to operate a personal computer, a telephone, fax machine, copier, calculator, and other general office equipment (100%).


Normal workday is from 7:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Minimal overtime may be required (10%) to meet schedule milestones and to support technical demands of the job. Regular attendance is a necessity and adequate arrangements for delegating duties during absences are required.

Other Essential Functions

The ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and to make rational decisions, and to exercise good judgment is essential (100%). Grooming and dress must be appropriate for the position and must not impose a safety risk/hazard to the employee or others.

Proof of U.S. Citizenship is required.

Jacobs is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status or other characteristics protected by law. Jacobs is a background screening, drug-free workplace.