Haeun Chung

Haeun Chung

Assistant Research Professor / Aspera Project Scientist

University of Arizona/Steward Obersvatory


I am an assistant research professor at the Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory at University of Arizona, as well as the project scientist of Aspera UV small-satellite mission. Before I started my current position, I was a postdoc at the Steward Observatory, worked with Prof. Erika Hamden. I did my Ph.D. at Seoul National University (SNU), Republic of Korea. I was also a research assistant/student fellow in the School of Physics at Korea Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS). My Ph.D. advisors were Prof. Yong-Sun Park at SNU and Prof. Changbom Park at KIAS. I had worked with the instrumentation group (Head: Prof. A. N. Ramaprakash) at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune, India during my Ph.D.

My research focus is on astronomical instrumentation and observational astronomy, in particular building UV/Optical telescope and instruments, and studying the circumgalactic medium and kinematics of galaxies.

Currently (as of December 2021), I am involved in and working on

  • Aspera, a UV SmallSat space telescope for mapping the distribution of coronal gas at around nearby galaxy halos,
  • Nox, a 12U UV CubeSat space telescope for mapping the all-sky EUV and FUV background
  • FIREBall-2 UV balloon telescope, preparation for its second flight,
  • Hyperion, a MIDEX-class high-resolution UV space telescope,
  • A ground-based multi-object spectrograph, to survey the redshift of galaxies in the local universe.

Previously I was heavily involved in the development of optical multi-IFU spectrograph (DOTIFS) before, and I am still working on the development of its reduction software. I am also using SDSS-IV MaNGA IFU survey data to study environmental effects on galaxy kinematics.


  • Astronomical Instrumentation
  • Optical Design
  • UV/VIS Spectroscopy
  • System Engineering
  • Circumgalactic Medium (CGM)
  • Galaxy Kinematics and Dynamics
  • Environmental Effects on Galaxy Properties


  • Ph.D. in Astronomy, 2019

    Seoul National University (SNU), Seoul, Korea

  • B.S. in Physics, 2012

    Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang, Korea

Recent News

[12/16/2021] Nox (PI: Haeun Chung) is proposed to 2021 NASA Astrophysics Research and Analysis AO ($10M).

[12/08/2021] Hyperion (PI: Erika Hamden) is proposed to NASA Astrophysics Exploers Program 2021 Medium Explorer (MIDEX) AO ($300M).

[12/06/2021] Aspera gets green light from NASA - the mission has passed the first Pioneers gate review - now officially moving towards Phase B. Go Aspera!

[11/12/2021] Aspera System Requirements Review (SRR) is successfully done over Nov. 12-13 via virtual and in-person site visit at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona.

See previous news



Assistant Research Professor

University of Arizona

Jul 2021 – Present Tucson, AZ, USA

Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Arizona

Sep 2019 – Jun 2021 Tucson, AZ, USA

Research Assistant/Student Fellow

Korea Institute for Advanced Study

Mar 2012 – Aug 2019 Seoul, Korea

Undergraduate Researcher

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Jan 2011 – May 2011 Minneapolis, MN, USA



Devasthal Optical Telescope Integral Field Spectrograph (DOTIFS)

DOTIFS is an optical multi-IFU spectrograph to be mounted on the Devasthal Optical Telescope

IFS Data Deconvolution

PSF deconvolution

Rotation Curve of Nearby Galaxies

Stellar kinematic analysis on nearby galaxies using SDSS-IV MaNGA data

Stellar Population Analysis

Stellar Population Analysis using STARLIGHT

CV & Links













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  • 933 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721