Glenn Piner


Glenn Piner

Professor of Physics
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Science & Learning Center 214

Academic History

1998: Ph.D., Astronomy, University of Maryland
1995: M.S., Astronomy, University of Maryland
1991: B.S., Astronomy, University of Maryland
1991: B.S., Physics, University of Maryland

Current Research Field

Radio Astronomy of Quasars, Blazars, and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs); Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI)


Professor Glenn Piner received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1998. He did his Ph.D. research with the gamma-ray astronomy group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, and with the VLBI group at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C., on radio properties of quasars detected by the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory.

After graduate school, Piner spent two years as a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, working on space-based radio astronomy. During this time he was an active collaborator on the Japanese VSOP space-based radio telescope.

Piner came to Whittier College in 2000. At Whittier, he teaches the full range of physics classes, along with a year-long astronomy sequence designed primarily for non-majors. He maintains an active program in quasar research involving undergraduate physics majors, using data from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) of radio telescopes. This research program has been supported by grants from NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Selected Publications

“Multi-Epoch VLBA Imaging of Twenty New TeV Blazars: Apparent Jet Speeds”, B. Glenn Piner and Philip G. Edwards, 2018, Astrophysical Journal, 853, 68

“First-epoch VLBA Imaging of 20 New TeV Blazars”, B. Glenn Piner and Philip G. Edwards, 2014, Astrophysical Journal, 797, 25

“Relativistic Jets in the Radio Reference Frame Image Database. II. Blazar Jet Accelerations from the First 10 Years of Data (1994-2003)”, B.G. Piner, A.B. Pushkarev, Y.Y. Kovalev, C.J. Marvin, J.G. Arenson, P. Charlot, A.L. Fey, A. Collioud, and P.A. Voitsik, 2012, Astrophysical Journal, 758, 84

“The Jets of TeV Blazars at Higher Resolution: 43 GHz and Polarimetric VLBA Observations from 2005-2009”, B. Glenn Piner, Niraj Pant, and Philip G. Edwards, 2010, Astrophysical Journal, 723, 1150

“Significant Limb-Brightening in the Inner Parsec of Markarian 501”, B. Glenn Piner, Niraj Pant, Philip G. Edwards, and Kaj Wiik, 2009, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 690, L31