Brian Cudnik

Brian Cudnik Brian Cudnik
Title: Laboratory Coordinator II & Adjunct Instructor
Phone: (936) 261-3136
Fax: (936) 261-3149
Office Hours: TR 10am – 12:00pm
Curriculum Vitae: Cudnik.pdf


B.S, Northern Arizona University, 1994
M.S, San Diego State University, 1998

Teaching Schedule:

Fall 2019

PHSC 1123-P05 MW NSCI-307 12:30 – 1:50 pm
PHSC 1121-P81 M NSCI-303 2:00 – 3:50 pm

 Background and Research:

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Cudnik earned a B.S. degree in Physics and Astronomy from Northern Arizona University in 1994 and an M.S. degree in Astronomy from San Diego State University in 1998. He started part-time work with the Prairie View Solar Observatory (PVSO) project in November of 1998 through an outreach technician position at Rice University. This work became full-time, with the transfer of employment from Rice to Prairie View A&M University in April 1999, making his involvement in the project a full-time effort. Until 30 September 2001, before a transfer to his current position as Physics Laboratory Specialist, Mr. Cudnik worked with PVSO, establishing an observing program, publishing several conference proceedings and refereed papers, and mentoring a number of students along the way.

Some of the research that Mr. Cudnik had been involved with over the years included photometric studies and modeling of the over-contact (meaning the stars are physically joined together in a sort of peanut shape) eclipsing variable star W Corvi, narrowband imaging of Jupiter (this project and the W Corvi one were done during his undergraduate years), and narrowband imaging and photometry of the comet Hale-Bopp for his M.S. thesis. He has also done work with solar active regions (sunspot groups) and their flaring activity; and also worked with optical phenomena in planetary transits (crossings) of the Sun. He has also taught introductory astronomy laboratories and courses in university and community college settings, and has been involved in public outreach programs involving “star parties” and planetarium shows.

He is currently involved with the ongoing management and improvement of the laboratories within the Physics department. He also is active in coordinating observations of lunar meteor impacts. He has lived in the Houston, Texas area since June 1998 with his wife, Susan, whom he married in June 1995.

Mr. Cudnik is author of two books: “Lunar Meteoroid Impact and How to Observe Them” and “Faint Objects and How to Observe Them”. More information about these books can be found on the Springer webpage by clicking here. In addition he serves as Editor-in-Chief for Encyclopedia of Lunar Science, a work in development as of this writing.

Refereed publications that Mr. Cudnik has authored and co-authored to date include the following:

  • Cudnik, Brian M. “Observations of the Inner Coma of C/1995O1 (Hale-Bopp)-Gas and Dust Production”, Planetary and Space Science, v. 53, Issue 6, p. 653-658 (2005).
  • Cudnik, B.M. “Multi-Wavelength CCD Observations of the 15 November 1999 Mercury Transit”, Solar Physics, v. 219, Issue 2, p. 197-216 (2004).
  • Cudnik, Brian M.; Palmer, David W.; Palmer, David M.; Cook, Anthony; Venable, Roger; Gural, Peter S. “The Observation and Characterization of Lunar Meteoroid Impact Phenomena”, Earth, Moon, and Planets, v. 93,Issue 2, p. 97-106 (2003).
  • Cudnik, Brian M.; Palmer, David W.; Palmer, David M.; Cook, Anthony; Venable, Roger; Gural, Peter S. “Ground-Based Observations of Lunar Meteoritic Phenomena”, Earth, Moon, and Planets, v. 93,Issue 3, p. 145-161 (2003).
  • Pojoga, Sorin, Cudnik, Brian. “The Clustering Properties of Active Regions During the First Part of Solar Cycle 23”, Solar Physics, v. 208, Issue 1, p. 17-32 (2002).

Memberships and Community Involvement:

Mr. Cudnik is a member of two professional societies and several non-professional societies, some of which collaborate with the professional astronomy community. In his spare time, he is involved in astronomical work that has professional-amateur collaborative benefits, including the coordination of a network of amateur astronomers to monitor the moon for lunar meteor impacts (such as the one witnessed firsthand in November 1999 and the man-made impact of the LCROSS booster rocket and spacecraft on October 9, 2009).

In addition to the above professional, semi-professional, and amateur activities, Mr. Cudnik is actively involved in God’s work through Houston First Church of God. His involvement with this church helps to bring fulfillment and purpose to his life as well as to the community.