Christopher Magri

Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Associate Professor of Physics

Chris Magri is an astronomer whose research involves radar studies of asteroids.  He uses the world’s most powerful radar facility, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, to transmit million-watt microwave beams at asteroids and then measure the faint echoes.  These data are used to determine the target’s orbit, size, shape, rotation, surface topography, and material composition.  He and his collaborators around the country have also begun studying asteroids’ thermal properties, using an infrared telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii to measure emitted heat radiation.  Computer analysis of these emissions can reveal whether an asteroid’s surface is loose material or else solid bedrock; this can influence the asteroid’s trajectory and thus whether or not it will impact Earth.  At UMF Dr. Magri teaches introductory physics and astronomy, typically as general education courses for nonscientists; he also offers first-year seminars, for example on astrobiology, the search for life beyond Earth.


  • 1990 PhD Cornell University
  • 1986 MS Cornell University
  • 1983 BA University of Virginia
Chris Magri – Associate Professor of Physics