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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

Jason Steffen In The News

Nov 9, 2018

Considering how many people willingly wait in long lines, it’s surprising how much they hate it.

Nov 1, 2018

The Kepler telescope has run out of fuel and officially entered retirement. Luckily, there is a replacement on the way to continue our observation of the stars.

Nov 1, 2018

For centuries, human beings have wondered about the possibility of other Earths orbiting distant stars. Perhaps some of these alien worlds would harbor strange forms of life or have unique and telling histories or futures. But it was only in 1995 that astronomers spotted the first planets orbiting sunlike stars outside of our solar system.

Oct 31, 2018

Astronomers expect TESS to find thousands more planetary systems.

Articles Featuring Jason Steffen

image of moon orbits
Sep 18, 2018

UNLV astrophysicists ponder "reservoirs of life" on the moons of planets expelled by their hosts and drifting through the galaxy.

planet illustration
Apr 9, 2018
Campus News

Passing the baton in the search for distant planets.

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