Jason Steffen

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Expertise: Astronomy, Exoplanets, Cosmology, Dark matter and energy, Gravitation, General physics


Jason Steffen works in the field of exoplanets — planets that orbit distant stars. He has been a member of the science team for NASA's Kepler mission.  He continues to analyze data from that mission to understand the properties of planets and planetary systems. He also worked on projects related to dark matter, dark energy, and gravity.

Steffen is originally from Utah and attended graduate school in Seattle. Before coming to UNLV, he was the Lindheimer Fellow at Northwestern University and the Brinson Fellow at Fermilab outside of Chicago.

In addition to his work in astrophysics, he is known for the Steffen Method, a procedure to efficiently board passengers on an airplane.


  • PhD in Physics, University of Washington, Seattle
  • BS in Physics and Mathematic, Weber State University

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Jason Steffen In The News

Popular Science
October 5, 2020
Some 322 light-years away in the constellation Libra lies one of the most extreme and hottest worlds discovered by astronomers so far. Launched into Earth orbit last December, the European Space Agency’s shiny new exoplanet-hunting satellite CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (or CHEOPS) spotted exoplanet WASP-189b, a gas giant circling close to one of the hottest known stars with a planetary system.
Las Vegas Review Journal
July 17, 2020
The Comet NEOWISE is expected to remain visible to the naked eye through Saturday. Following that, it will be visible with binoculars or a telescope until the end of July.
Las Vegas Review Journal
July 13, 2020
This week is the best time to see a comet that won’t be visible again for 6,800 years.
June 22, 2020
If you’ve ever queued on a crowded walkway, sandwiched tightly between two strangers, and thought: ‘There must be a better way to board a plane’, here’s the good news: You’re right. The bad news? Most airlines simply don’t care.

Articles Featuring Jason Steffen

A portrait of UNLV's new president Keith Whitfield on campus.
Campus NewsAugust 10, 2020
As summer heats up, so do the accomplishments on UNLV’s campus.
A UNLV banner on campus.
Campus NewsJuly 2, 2020
A collection of news stories featuring the people and programs of UNLV.
UNLV professor Matthew Lachniet works in his lab on campus.
PeopleDecember 27, 2019
A collection of stories highlighting UNLV faculty and students who made the news in 2019.
People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus NewsNovember 1, 2019
A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.