Christian Tate

Astronomy & Space Sciences


Christian uses photometry, computer vision, and photogrammetry to study a range of worlds in the Solar System. Jezero Crater, Mars is Christian's primary testing ground for 3D terrain reconstruction. He is on the science team of the Mastcam-Z instrument of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. He makes a variety of 3D models with Mastcam-Z and Navcam images. These models are viewable on Mastcam-Z's official Sketchfab page [here](

Christian also studies volcanism on Io. This moon orbits Jupiter at a less-than-safe distance, where extreme volcanism and radiation make it a fascinating but dangerous place to visit. He uses ground-based infrared telescopes to characterize bright transient eruptions known as volcanic outbursts.

B.S., 2012, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, IN
B.A., 2016, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Purdue University, IN
M.A., 2017, Physics and Astronomy, University of Louisville, KY
M.A., 2020, Astronomy and Planetary Science, Cornell University, NY
Ph.D., 2023 (anticipated in November), Planetary Science, Cornell University, NY

Research Focus

Advisor: Professor Alex Hayes