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Michelle Lynn Thaller
Michelle Thaller astrophysicist crop.png
Born c. 1970 (age 43–44)
Education BS 1992, PhD 1998
Alma mater

Michelle Thaller (born c. 1970 in Waukesha, Wisconsin) is an American astronomer and research scientist. Thaller is the assistant director for Science Communication at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center [1]

From 1998 to 2009 she was a staff scientist at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, and later Manager of the Education and Public Outreach program for the Spitzer Space Telescope, at the California Institute of Technology.[2]


A native of Wisconsin,[3] Thaller graduated from Waukesha South High School in 1988.[4] She attended Harvard University where she majored in astrophysics and worked on precision measurement of binary stars, receiving a Bachelor's degree in 1992. At Georgia State University Thaller worked on colliding winds in close massive binary systems. She received a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in 1998.[2][5]

Thaller has been featured in an episode of the National Geographic Channel documentary television series, Naked Science, and has appeared on Life and Times on the Los Angeles based television station KCET. She is a regular contributor to the online edition of the Christian Science Monitor for which she writes a monthly science column, [3][5] and has appeared seven times on the History Channel show, The Universe. She appears in the Science Channel show, How the Universe Works. Thaller also contributed to and appeared in the award-winning video podcast series IRrelevant Astronomy.

Personal life[edit]

Thaller is married to Sigma Space Optical Engineer Andrew Booth[6] and lives in Maryland. During her years in Pasadena, California she was a regular participant in the summer Santa Barbara Renaissance Faire.


  1. ^ "Sciences and Exploration Directorate - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center". Goddard Space Flight Center. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  2. ^ a b "SIRTF Profiles: Dr. Michelle Thaller - Manager of the SIRTF Education and Public Outreach Program". Spitzer Science Center. Retrieved 2008-02-28. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "About Us". Cool Cosmos. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  4. ^ "Wall of Fame". Waukesha South HS. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "NASA Biography - Michelle Thaller". NASA. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  6. ^ "Michelle Thaller". facebook. Retrieved 2013-12-21. 

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104 news items

Huffington Post
Wed, 21 May 2014 12:00:44 -0700

Living shoulder-to-shoulder on a small blue planet zooming through an ever-expanding universe, it's easy to feel very, very small. But what we are is actually pretty incredible. "We are dead stars looking back up at the sky," Dr. Michelle Thaller ...
Buffalo Bulletin
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 07:26:15 -0700

This fascinating fact emerged from a little three-minute video from Dr. Michelle Thaller, NASA astronomer and science communicator. We are born from a violent act, she says — that of a supernova. It begins with hydrogen, the simplest atom in the world.

Slate Magazine (blog)

Slate Magazine (blog)
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 05:00:00 -0700

In our solar system, on worlds like Europa, Enceladus, Titan, or Mars; signs of it from an exoplanet; or possibly even signals from intelligent civilizations? Science communicator Katrina Jackson sat down with two astrophysicists—my friends Michelle ...

Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor
Fri, 07 Nov 2014 16:00:00 -0800

... spread out before reaching Mars. NASA positioned its satellites behind Mars to protect them from the dust. In October, NASA scientist Michelle Thaller told Space.com that the dust particles could be traveling at speeds reaching 100,000 mph (27,777 ...


Gant Daily
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 03:56:12 -0700

MICHELLE THALLER VIA SPACE.COM: “It's literally five billion years old, and its coming in for the first time. Analyzing the comet will give us clues about how the planets formed. We actually even think that comets have some of the building blocks of ...
ABC News
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:57:14 -0700

Rare 'Blood Moon' on the Rise. More. NASA scientist Michelle Thaller discusses the total lunar eclipse that has sparked doomsday chatter. 6:06 | 04/14/14. Read Full Story. Share. Title. Description. Share From. Share With. Facebook. Tweet. </> Embed ...

Talk Radio News Service

Talk Radio News Service
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:48:08 -0700

Michelle Thaller, assistant director for Science Communication at NASA's Goddard Space Slight Center, said while most hear “NASA” and instinctively think “space,” one of the agency's core missions is studying Earth and its systems. “A lot of people don ...
KPRC Houston
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 05:56:15 -0700

There's a full moon rising this weekend, unlike any we have seen all year. It's 31,000 miles closer than usual! It's an astronomical event better known as a Supermoon. Dr. Michelle Thaller tells us exactly what it is and why it's so special. Show ...

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