Select Page

Joseph A'Hearn

Welcome to my site! I’m a trained planetary dynamicist and physicist currently working as a data scientist. 

Academic CVIndustry Resume

I’m currently a Data Scientist at PACCAR.

During my Physics PhD at the University of Idaho, I performed research on the dynamics of moons and rings in the outer Solar system. 

My first two papers focused on the Saturn system. My third paper then explored the systems of Uranus and Neptune. 


My first scientific paper dealt with energy conservation in co-rotation resonances, with a focus on Saturn’s Aegaeon ring arc.

Next I studied co-orbital satellite systems. I won an award for this research in 2019. My second scientific paper makes applications of my findings to phenomena in Saturn’s innermost ringlet. 

I then investigated where in the rings of Uranus and Neptune we should look for evidence of planetary oscillations (Uranusquakes and Neptunequakes). This project was featured in an Eos Magazine article. The Planetary Science Journal has accepted this research for publication and it is currently in press, but you can already read the arxiv version.


I taught high school physics for Memoria Press Online Academy from Fall 2018 through Spring 2022. I taught Introductory Physics for three years (2018-21) and then taught Advanced Physics (2021-22). 

I taught a 16-week high school Astronomy course for Kepler Education in Fall 2020 and Fall 2021.  

I offered a crash course in Astronomy to anyone who wished to register in April-May 2021, and I may do this again in the future. Registrants were given access to my 16 video lectures (about 6 hours of content) and were invited to engage in discussion during 7 live video chat sessions. Email me if you wish to find out when I offer this course again!   


I did my undergraduate studies in Physics, with a technical option in Astrophysics, and a second major in Philosophy, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

I also have a background in Philosophy and Humanities. Before transferring to UIUC, I spent eleven years, starting with high school, in a formation program to become a Catholic missionary priest. Even though I decided in the end that taking another career path made more sense for me, my adventures and experiences during those years, which I spent in the northeastern United States, Mexico, and Italy, have in large part made me who I am today. I wouldn’t trade my unique path in life for any other.