Seth Jacobson

Assistant Professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Location: 207 Natural Science Bldg
Profile photo of  Seth Jacobson
Photo of: Seth Jacobson


My students and I are planetary scientists who study the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets of the Solar System as well as other planetary systems with the tools of celestial mechanics, geophysics, and geochemistry. Our science is driven by the big questions: Where did we come from? What else is out there? and, How unique is our history?

I received my undergraduate degree in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 2008. While at Cornell, I worked on high-pressure studies of water ice using density functional theory and measuring the orbits of Kuiper Belt objects. I then did a masters and PhD in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010 and 2012, respectively. My graduate research focused on understanding how non-gravitational effects on binary small bodies like asteroids and comets alter their long-term evolution. From there, I spent nearly five years working jointly between a French astronomical institute, the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, and a German geological laboratory, the Bayerisches Geoinsitut. In Europe, I combined astronomy and geology to build sophisticated models for terrestrial planet formation. Afterwards, I was on the faculty at Northwestern for two short years before moving to MSU in 2019. At MSU, I lead the Planetary Makerspace.

Office Hours

  • Tuesday: 9:00-10:00 am
  • Thursday: 9:00-10:00 am