Planetary Research

Planetary Atmospheres ResearchThe Center is committed to ensuring that all its science education programs fully reflect the research experience and are accurate in both scientific content and process. To this end, the Center maintains researchers on staff that split their time between planetary research and the development and delivery of national education programs.

The Center’s research initiatives include:

  • Research in Terrestrial Planetary Atmospheres
    The winds, temperature, and composition of the upper atmospheres of Venus and Mars are studied to gain a richer understanding of the physics and chemistry driving meteorology and atmospheric evolution. These comparative planetary studies also provide invaluable insight into atmospheric processes here on Earth. Studies are undertaken using ground-based infrared spectrometers.
  • Cooperative Research in Planetary Astronomy
    Research in support of NASA planetary flight missions, conducted in collaboration with the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The atmospheres of the planets are studied through observations of the infrared light they emit, using spectrometers attached to large ground-based telescopes.
  • Studies of Star Formation and the Origins of the Solar System
    Testing and refinement of theories indicating that solar systems are born as shock waves from the explosion of massive stars pass through clouds of gas and dust in interstellar space. Theoretical modeling and computer simulations are conducted that explore how material from a shock wave can be mixed and transported into a forming solar system.

Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications
Triggering Collapse of the Presolar Dense Cloud Core and Injecting Short-lived Radioisotopes with a Shock Wave. I. Varied Shock Speeds, Boss, A.P.; Keiser, S.A.; Ipatov, S.I.; Myhill, E.A.; and Vanhala, H.A.T. (2010)  ApJ, 708, 1268-1280.

Simultaneous Triggered Presolar Cloud Collapse and Injection of Short-lived Radioisotopes by a Supernova Shock Wave, Boss, A. P.; Ipatov, S. I.; Keiser, S. A.; Myhill, E. A.; and Vanhala, H.A.T. (2009) Lunar and Planetary Science Conf. 40, 1002.

Comparison of HIPWAC and Mars Express SPICAM observations of ozone on Mars 2006-2008 and variation from 1993 IRHS observations, Fast, Kelly E.; Kostiuk, Theodor; Lefèvre, Franck; Hewagama, Tilak; Livengood, Timothy A.; Delgado, Juan D.; Annen, John; Sonnabend, Guido (2009) Icarus, Volume 203, p. 20-27.

Alien Maps of an Ocean-bearing World, Cowan, Nicolas B.; Agol, Eric; Meadows, Victoria S.; Robinson, Tyler; Livengood, Timothy A.; Deming, Drake; Lisse, Carey M.; A’Hearn, Michael F.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Seager, Sara; Charbonneau, David; the EPOXI Team (2009) The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 700, Issue 2, pp. 915-923.

TandEM: Titan and Enceladus Mission, Coustenis, A.; Atreya, S. K.; Balint, T.; Brown, R. H.; Dougherty, M. K.; Ferri, F.; Fulchignoni, M.; Gautier, D.; Gowen, R. A.; Griffith, C. A.; Gurvits, L. I.; Jaumann, R.; Langevin, Y.; Leese, M. R.; Lunine, J. I.; McKay, C. P.; Moussas, X.; Müller-Wodarg, I.; Neubauer, F.; Owen, T. C.; Raulin, F.; Sittler, E. C.; Sohl, F.; Sotin, C.; Tobie, G.; Tokano, T.; Turtle, E. P.; Wahlund, J.-E.; Waite, J. H.; Baines, K. H.; Blamont, J.; Coates, A. J.; Dandouras, I.; Krimigis, T.; Lellouch, E.; Lorenz, R. D.; Morse, A.; Porco, C. C.; Hirtzig, M.; Saur, J.; Spilker, T.; Zarnecki, J. C.; Choi, E.; Achilleos, N.; Amils, R.; Annan, P.; Atkinson, D. H.; Bánilan, Y.; Bertucci, C.; Bázard, B.; Bjoraker, G. L.; Blanc, M.; Boireau, L.; Bouman, J.; Cabane, M.; Capria, M. T.; Chassefière, E.; Coll, P.; Combes, M.; Cooper, J. F.; Coradini, A.; Crary, F.; Cravens, T.; Daglis, I. A.; de Angelis, E.; de Bergh, C.; de Pater, I.; Dunford, C.; Durry, G.; Dutuit, O.; Fairbrother, D.; Flasar, F. M.; Fortes, A. D.; Frampton, R.; Fujimoto, M.; Galand, M.; Grasset, O.; Grott, M.; Haltigin, T.; Herique, A.; Hersant, F.; Hussmann, H.; Ip, W.; Johnson, R.; Kallio, E.; Kempf, S.; Knapmeyer, M.; Kofman, W.; Koop, R.; Kostiuk, T.; Krupp, N.; Küppers, M.; Lammer, H.; Lara, L.-M.; Lavvas, P.; Le Mouélic, S.; Lebonnois, S.; Ledvina, S.; Li, J.; Livengood, T. A.; Lopes, R. M.; Lopez-Moreno, J.-J.; Luz, D.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Mall, U.; Martinez-Frias, J.; Marty, B.; McCord, T.; Menor Salvan, C.; Milillo, A.; Mitchell, D. G.; Modolo, R.; Mousis, O.; Nakamura, M.; Neish, C. D.; Nixon, C. A.; Nna Mvondo, D.; Orton, G.; Paetzold, M.; Pitman, J.; Pogrebenko, S.; Pollard, W.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Rannou, P.; Reh, K.; Richter, L.; Robb, F. T.; Rodrigo, R.; Rodriguez, S.; Romani, P.; Ruiz Bermejo, M.; Sarris, E. T.; Schenk, P.; Schmitt, B.; Schmitz, N.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Schwingenschuh, K.; Selig, A.; Sicardy, B.; Soderblom, L.; Spilker, L. J.; Stam, D.; Steele, A.; Stephan, K.; Strobel, D. F.; Szego, K.; Szopa, C.; Thissen, R.; Tomasko, M. G.; Toublanc, D.; Vali, H.; Vardavas, I.; Vuitton, V.; West, R. A.; Yelle, R.; Young, E. F. (2009) Experimental Astronomy, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp.893-946.

Simultaneous Triggered Collapse of the Presolar Dense Cloud Core and Injection of Short-Lived Radioisotopes by a Supernova Shock Wave, Boss, A.P.; Ipatov, S.I.; Keiser, S.A.; Myhill, E.A.; and Vanhala, H.A.T. (2008)  ApJ, 686, L119-122.

Beam Integrated High-resolution Infrared Spectra: Accurate Modeling of Thermal Emission from Extended Clear Atmospheres, Hewagama, T.; Goldstein, J.; Livengood, T.A.; Buhl, D.; Espenak, F.; Fast, K.; Kostiuk, Th.; Schmulling, F. (2008)  Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer, 109 , 1081-1097.

Venus upper atmosphere winds from ground-based heterodyne spectroscopy of CO2 at 10 µm wavelength, Sornig, M.; Livengood, T.; Sonnabend, G.; Kroetz, P.; Stupar, D.; Kostiuk, T.; Schieder, R. (2008) Planetary and Space Science, Volume 56, Issue 10, p. 1399-1406.