Kirby Runyon portrait

Kirby Runyon

Planetary geologist and research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute

Kirby Runyon is a planetary geologist and research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. He studies the rocky, geologic landforms on Mars, the Moon, Pluto, Charon, Venus and elsewhere using spacecraft images, laboratory experiments, and analog Earth geology. He is also project scientist for the Neptune Odyssey concept study.

He lives in Columbia, MD, with his cat, Nixie, named after Nix, a small moon of Pluto.

Latest Articles

Calling Congress Is Easy

Calling your senators and representatives about NASA's budget isn't that bad. In fact, I just took 15 minutes out of my day to do it! If you're not sure what to say to support planetary exploration, I hope you'll be inspired by what I've transcribed from my phone call this afternoon.

LPSC 2011: Kirby Runyon on Mars, the Moon, Hartley 2, and Ganymede

Kirby Runyon, a second-year grad student at Temple University, offered to send me some writeups of selected presentations from last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, and I enthusiastically agreed.

Latest Planetary Radio Appearances

An astrogeologic experience with Kirby Runyon

Mat Kaplan, Planetary Radio's creator and former host, takes us on an adventure with planetary geologist Kirby Runyon as they tour New Mexico, U.S.'s varied geology and compare it to other worlds.

Neptune Odyssey: why we need to visit an ice giant

Leaders of the Neptune Odyssey study for the next planetary science and astrobiology decadal survey share their team’s exciting approach for an ice giant-orbiting spacecraft.

Hope for Pluto—Should We Re-Redefine Planets?

Planetary geologist Kirby Runyon is lead author of an abstract that proposes a new, geophysical definition of what a planet is.