Steve  Kawaler

Steve Kawaler

  • Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences
I joined the ISU faculty in 1989, after a stint as an associate research scientist at Yale University following completion of my PhD at the University of Texas in 1986. My astronomical journey began at an early age and included building (from scratch) several small telescopes. Still not having outgrown this childhood fascination with the cosmos, my research now focuses on theoretical and space-based studies of the lives (and deaths) of stars. My "specialty" is using subtle variation in the brightness of stars as seismic probes of their interiors via the relatively new field called asteroseismology. Much of my work now involves NASA's exoplanet-hunting spacecraft, which provide exquisite data on stars (some of which host extrasolar planetary systems). During down time I can often be found pondering the mysteries of the game of baseball (from the stands more than the field, unfortunately) or on a bicycle riding the roads of rural Iowa (if it isn't too hot, or too cold, or raining, or windy, or ...).


Contact Info

A323 Zaffarano Hall
2323 Osborn Dr


  • PhD, Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, 1986
  • MA, Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, 1982
  • BA, Physics, Cornell University, 1980


I still do astronomy for fun
Third Contact - Missouri 2017

Third Contact in Missouri
August 21, 2017, 1:15PM
Photo © 2017; S.& L. Kawaler

Diamond Ring - Aruba eclipse

Third Contact in Aruba
February 26, 1998, 2:12PM
Photo © 1998; S. & L. Kawaler

Venus Transit

Venus Transit in Buckeye, IA
June 5, 2012, 5:15PM
Photo © 2012; S. Kawaler

Diamond Ring - Brandon eclipse 1979

Third Contact, Manitoba
February 26, 1979, 10:46AM
Photo © 1979; S. Kawaler


Driveway Astrophotography


Mars and the Moon
Mars and the Moon, 12/7/22
The Moon

Our moon,
June 29, 2020


Jupiter, November 20, 2012

Venus and Mars

Venus and Mars, April 10, 2012

Saturn from the driveway

Saturn, January 12, 2003,
Questar + Quickcam

Lunar Eclipse Montage

Lunar Eclipse - October 8, 2014
Photo © 2014; S. Kawaler