Meet: Diane Wooden
LCROSS Science Team
NASA Ames Research Center
Dr. Diane Wooden is a research astrophysicist
at NASA Ames focusing on the LCROSS mission.
Currently, Dr. Wooden is conducting observations from the NASA Infrared
Telescope facility on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea in preparation for the
upcoming LCROSS impact. She has previously performed similar observations
on Mauna Kea for the Deep Impact mission.
Diane has had a life-long interest in, and fascination with,
astronomy. When she was just 12 years old, she ground her own mirror
and built her own telescope using money she earned from babysitting jobs.
In junior high, she focused on mathematics and science.
She has studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Stanford
University, earning her Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from UCSC
Diane Wooden has worked at NASA for 25 years. She specializes in infrared
spectroscopy with an emphasis on comets, the “deep-freezers” of
what was happening when Jupiter and Saturn were forming. She also studies
the Moon, particularly in her current work looking for water ice as a
key member of the LCROSS science team.
an asteroid “17421 Wooden” named
after her in recognition of her path-breaking research on crystals and