Tyler Nordgren

Professor, Physics

Degrees: Ph.D. Astronomy, Cornell University, 1997; M.S. Astronomy, Cornell University, 1994; B.A. Physics, Reed College, 1991

Office: Physics , Appleton Hall #126

Phone: 909/748-8660 Campus Ext. 8660




Areas of Expertise

Observational Astronomy with Small Campus Observatories and Public Astronomy Outreach within the U.S. National Parks

Professional Background

Tyler Nordgren is an astronomer and Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Redlands in California. He earned his BA in Physics from Reed College and a MS and Ph.D in Astronomy from Cornell University.

Before coming to the University of Redlands he was an astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona where he helped build a new type of telescope to directly observe the size and shape of such household stars as Pollux and Polaris (the North Star).

Since 2001 Tyler has been at the University of Redlands where he has developed classes that take students on the road to meet astronomers at laboratories and universities around the U.S. and around the world.

In 2004 he was part of small team of seven astronomers and artists who converted the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Rover camera calibration targets into functioning sundials and saw them land safely in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum. He continues to be involved in scientific research and outreach to the public. All told, this work has taken him from Alaska to Australia and the Hopi Reservation to the downtown streets of Rome. Since 2007 Tyler has been a member of the National Park Service Night Sky Team working closely with astronomers and park rangers around the country to protect our park's dark skies and promote astronomy education through their continued enjoyment.

In 2009 the Acadia Night Sky Festival featured an exhibit of his award winning photographs depicting the night sky above the nation’s parks.

Courses Offered at Redlands

  • General Astronomy
  • Astronomy of the Planets
  • Astronomy Abroad (May term travel course)
  • General Physics
  • Astrophysics

Degrees Held

  • Ph.D. Astronomy, Cornell University, 1997
  • M.S. Astronomy, Cornell University, 1994
  • B.A. Physics, Reed College, 1991

Professional Experience

  • Astronomer United States Naval Observatory
  • Astronomer Lowell Observatory

Awards, Honors and Grants

  • 2007, Grant for Outreach in the U.S. National Parks by The Planetary Society
  • 2001 – 2004, Research Grant from National Science Foundation for Star formation in Galaxies

Publications, Presentations and Panels

2010, Stars Above, Earth Below: A guide to astronomy in the national parks, in press

2009, National Parks at Night, photography exhibit, Acadia National Park 2009

2008 – Present, Voice of Grand Canyon Astronomy on the Grand Canyon National park cell phone audio tour: 928-225-2907 then dial 4.

2007 – 2009, Astronomy in the National Parks presentation, multiple U.S. national parks

2005, Marconi, M.; Nordgren, T.; Bono, G.; Schnider, G.; Caputo, F., “Predicted and Empirical Radii of RR Lyrae Stars”, Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL), 623L, 133

2004 – Present, Co-designed sundial on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover, Mars

2004, Simpson, C., Hunter, D., Nordgren, T. E., “DDO 43: A Prototypical Dwarf Irregular Galaxy?”, Astronomical Journal (AJ), 130, 1049

2004, Ohishi, N., Nordgren, T. E., & Hutter, D. J., “Assymetric Surface Brightness Distribution of Altair Observed with the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer”, Astrophysical Journal (ApJ), 612, 463

2002, Dyck, H. M. & Nordgren, T. E., “The Effect of TiO Absorption on Optical and Infrared Angular Diameters of Cool Stars”, AJ, 124, 541

2002, Nordgren, T. E., Lane, B. F., Hindsley, R. B., & Kervella, P., “Calibration of the Barnes–Evans Relation Using Interferometric Observations of Cepheids”, AJ, 123, 3380

2002, Lane, B. F., Creech–Eakman, M. J., & Nordgren, T. E., “Long Baseline Interferometric Observation of Cepheids”, ApJ, 573, 330

2001. Nordgren, T. E., Sudol, J. J., & Mozurkewich, D., “Comparison of Stellar Angular Diameters from the NPOI, the Mark III Optical Interferometer, and the Infrared Flux Method”, AJ, 122, 2707

2001, Armstrong, J.T, Nordgren, T. E., Germain, M. E., Hajian, A. R., Hindsley, R. B., Hummel, C. A. & Thessin, R. N., 2001, “Diameters of delta Cephei and eta Aquilae Measured with the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer”, AJ, 121, 476

2000, Nordgren, T. E., Chengalur, J. N., Salpeter, E. E., & Terzian, Y., “The 1.0 Mpc Galaxy Pair Sample”, ApJ, 544, 176.

2000, Nordgren, T. E., Armstrong, J. T., Germain, M. E., Hindsley, R. B., Hajian, A. R., Sudol, J. J., & Hummel, C. A., “Astrophysical Quantities of Cepheid Variables Measured with the NPOI”, ApJ, 543, 972.

1999, Nordgren, T. E., & NPOI Collaboration, “Stellar Angular Diameters of Late–Type Giants and Supergiants Measured with the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer”, AJ, 118, 3032.

1998, Nordgren, T. E., Chengalur, J. N., Salpeter, E. E., & Terzian, Y., “Very Wide Galaxy Pairs of the Northern Sky”, ApJSupp, 115, 43.

1997, Nordgren, T. E., Chengalur, J. N., Salpeter, E. E., & Terzian, Y., “Close Galaxy Pairs in Regions of Low and Medium Galaxy Density: The Southern Sky”, AJ, 114, 913.

1996, Nordgren, T. E., Chengalur, J. N., Salpeter, E. E., & Terzian, Y., “Close Galaxy Pairs in Regions of Medium Galaxy Density: The Northern Sky”, AJ, 114, 77.

1992, Nordgren, T. E., Cordes, J. M., & Terzian, Y., “The Scale Height of the Galactic Free Electron Cloud”, AJ, 104, 1465.

Professional Affiliations

American Astronomical Society

The University has five Centers of Distinction.
student playing a cello

Redlands is committed to offering innovative learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.

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