Dr. Jenkins performs research on the interstellar and intergalactic medium by analyzing absorption lines in the UV spectra of stars and quasars. Special interests include (1) measurements of the distribution of thermal pressures in the Galactic interstellar medium through the analysis of atomic fine-structure level populations, (2) Observations of O VI absorption features which reveal the presence of collisionally ionized gas at T = 300,000 K, (3) A generalized description of depletions of atomic gas-phase abundances of different elements as they condense into solid form onto dust grains, (4) The abundance of deuterium and its variability, and (5) the ionization and electron density of the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM). His past research has made use of the Copernicus satellite, the International Ultraviolet Explorer, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. He was the principal investigator for the Interstellar Medium Absorption Profile Spectrograph (IMAPS), which obtained spectra of bright stars between 950 and 1150 A at a wavelength resolving power of about 100,000. This instrument flew on sounding rockets and also operated on two ORFEUS-SPAS missions launched into orbit by the Space Shuttle.
Senior Research Astronomer