Telescope Data Center
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
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Jessica Mink

Astronomical Software Developer
Data Archivist
and Positional Astronomer

I earned Bachelors (1973) and Masters (1974) [thesis] degrees in Planetary Science from M.I.T.,
After I got my SM degree, I took some enforced time off from astronomy due to a lack of jobs and developed financial software in Boston at Financial Publishing Company in 1975 and 1976, while still doing some work at MIT helping write my first published paper on Martian surface composition).
In 1976, I left to develop astronomical software full-time, in lieu of graduate school, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York from 1976 until 1979, soon helping discover the Uranian rings and publishing my second paper in Nature. More research and publication followed through the 1979 move of my research group to M.I.T., where I worked until 1984.

In 1984, I came to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to work on the Spacelab 2 Infrared Telescope, eventually co-authoring this paper about its results. Along the way, I developed the graphics terminal emulator for xterm. I am in the list of contributors at the end of the xterm man page on any X-Window supporting system.

Since that project was completed in 1990, I have worked at the SAO Telescope Data Center, developing and using software for astrometry and the reduction, analysis, and of optical and near-infrared spectra and images. Besides a few more pipelines for spectrographs, I have written the widely-used RVSAO redshift computation package and WCSTools image world coordinate system, FITS file, and source catalog package.

In June 2021, I summarized my entire career in a talk to the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society. Here's their announcement with links to the PDF and the hour-long Zoom talk.

This talk summarizes the work I've done in positional astronomy over four decades.

This talk summarizes the data processing pipelines which have kept me employed for over four decades.

This page explains why there is a different name on my papers before 2011.

Professional interests

Here are some talks I've given:
Last updated 10 June, 2021 Telescope Data Center Occultations