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Postdoctoral Fellow (Internal Only) in Mountain View, CA at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 9/10/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

The Postdoctoral Fellow will work on modeling infrared emission from supernova remnant shocks into molecular clouds. Work will include improving the Paris-Durham shock code for radiative transfer of molecular lines using RADEX, and incorporating separate ortho and para states of molecular hydrogen. The shock code will be run on a grid of cloud properties and shock pressures, and the brightness of hydrogen and argon lines predicted. These observations will be compared to SOFIA observations of IC 443 and other molecular-interacting supernova remnants, as those observations occur during Cycle 6.

The position is for a period of one year, with extension contingent on the availability of additional funding.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Develop and execute theoretical modeling techniques to predict mid-infrared spectral line brightnesses behind shock fronts.


Required Qualifications:


  • PhD in Astronomy, or related field


  • Experience in theoretical modeling of shock fronts.
  • Good track record of publications in leading scientific journals

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:  

  • Experience in astronomical programming (Python, IDL, IRAF or similar).
  • Evidence of potential for high level of achievement as an independent researcher.
  • Ability to work as a team member to accomplish goals.

Working Conditions:

This job primarily operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, etc. Extensive online usage. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit, use hands.  Keyboarding for large time spans each day will be a significant part of this position.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee may occasionally be exposed to fumes or airborne particles.  The employee may be exposed to moving equipment, vehicles and mechanical parts.  The noise level in the work office environment is typically mild.  The environment on the aircraft during flight operations may become noisy and tiring. The employee must be capable of performing all duties in a technical / scientific setting including offices, laboratories, shops, and aircraft maintenance facilities as well as on the aircraft / observatory, both while on the ground and during flights.  The employee may need to lift and / or move up to 50 pounds. 


These positions are stationed at NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, and will be expected to participate and/or lead several observing runs at observatories throughout the world.

Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.  Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity