|Title||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 powerful radar facilities 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 also study 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, both as general education courses for nonscientists and as preparation for science majors.