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Kevin Righter

Planetary Scientist; Antarctic Meteorite Curator

Contact Information

Phone: 281.483.5125
Fax: 281-483-1573

ARES Kevin Righter


Kevin Righter is a planetary scientist and curator for both the Antarctic meteorites and Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid samples within the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at the Johnson Space Center. Before coming to Johnson, Righter was a research associate in the department of planetary sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Righter currently uses the application of igneous petrology, experimental petrology and geochemical analysis to understand core formation, the origin of the Earth and Moon as well as differentiated and chondritic meteorites and the role of volatiles in the origin of basaltic magmatism. Righter’s research and curation activities help ascertain the content, origin and evolution of the solar system and the potential of life elsewhere.


DegreeArea of StudySchoolYear
Ph.D.Geological SciencesUniversity of California - Berkeley1994
M.S.Geological SciencesUniversity of Michigan - Ann Arbor1989
B.A.GeologyHaverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges1987

Selected Publications

Righter, K., Nickodem, K.A., Danielson, L.R., and Pando, K.A. (2017) Core-mantle partitioning of volatile elements and the origin of volatile elements in the Earth and Moon. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, in press.

Shofner, G.A., Campbell, A.J., Danielson, L.R., and Righter K. (2016) The W-WO2 oxygen fugacity buffer (WWO) at high pressure and temperature: implications for fO2 buffering and metal-silicate partitioning. Amer. Mineral. 101, 211–221.

Righter, K., Danielson, L.R., Pando, K.A., Shofner, G.A., Sutton, S.R., Newville, M., Lee, C.-T. (2016) Valence and metal-silicate partitioning of Mo: implications for conditions of Earth accretion and core formation. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 437, 89-100.

Righter, K., Sutton, S.R., Danielson, L.R., Pando, K.A., and Newville, M. (2016) Redox Variation in the Inner Solar System with New Constraints from Vanadium XANES in Spinels. American Mineralogist 101, 1928-1942.

Righter, K., Cosca, M.A., and Morgan, L. (2016) Preservation of ancient impact ages on the R chondrite parent body: 40Ar/39Ar age of hornblende-bearing R chondrite LAP 04840. Met Planet. Sci. 51, 1678-1684.

Righter, K., Danielson, L.R., Pando, K., Williams, J., Humayun, M., Hervig, R.L., Sharp, T.G. (2015) Mantle HSE abundances in Mars due to core formation at high pressure and temperature. Met Planet. Sci. 50, 604-631.

Yang, S., Humayun, M., Righter, K., Jefferson, G., Fields, D., and Irving, A.J. (2015) Siderophile and chalcophile element abundances in shergottites: implications for martian core formation. Met Planet. Sci. 50, 691-714.

Righter, K. (2015) Magma ocean depth and oxygen fugacity in the early Earth – implications for biochemistry. Origin of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, doi: 10.1007/s11084-015-9445-2.

Righter, K. and 24 other authors (2015) Mineralogy, petrology, chronology and exposure history of the Chelyabinsk meteorite and parent body. Met Planet. Sci. 50, 1790-1819.

Righter, K. (2011) Prediction of metal-silicate partition coefficients for siderophile elements: an update and assessment of PT conditions for metal-silicate equilibrium during accretion of the Earth.  Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 304, 158-167.