Jason Wright


Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics


  • Astronomy & Astrophysics

Focus Areas:

  • Exoplants
  • Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • Space
  • Stars


  • Wright specializes in stellar astrophysics, and making precise radial velocity measurements of stars to detect the exoplanets that orbit them.
  • Wright is project scientist for NEID, a PI of NExSS, a co-PI of MINERVA, and a member of the Habitable Zone Planet Finder team.
  • Wright is the winner of the SETI Institute's 2019 Drake Award.

Jason Wright is an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State and a member of the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds. He is a board member and researcher in the Penn State Extraterrestrial Intelligence (PSETI) Center. Wright’s research centers around stars; their atmospheres, activity, and planets, as well as work on SETI. He finds and characterizes new planets around other stars using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and Keck Observatory.

In The Media

“Remember: the origin of life on Earth goes back over 4 billion years. So any alien technology that might have brought it to the Solar System was billions and billions of years ago.”

Space Alien Research Could Get Its First Grad Program

from Scientific American November 18, 2019

Alien Hunters Discover Mysterious Signal from Proxima Centauri

from Scientific American January 18, 2020

Intelligent Ways to Search for Extraterrestrials

from New Yorker October 3, 2019

Mystery of 'Alien Megastructure' Star Has Been Cracked

from National Geographic January 3, 2018

What the UFO discussion really needs

from The Atlantic May 19, 2022

"I think we are seeing a shift. I think NASA has shown a real willingness to bring technosignatures in as part of astrobiology and the search for life in the universe, Congress' mood has shifted, and NASA can see the writing on the wall, and so it has been opening up its grants programs, and our colleagues in the field are listening to us."

"Technosignatures will probably be very challenging to detect, and since they represent products of alien forms of life, we aren't exactly sure what we are looking for. This means when we find one, it may be ambiguous.”

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