Our Solar System Projects

Orbital evolution of outer Solar System satellites

Thursday, September 01 2011 - 2:22 pm, PDT
This proposal focuses on the dynamics of satellites orbiting three outer Solar System objects: Jupiter, Saturn and the dwarf planet Haumea. The proposed work is divided into three main themes, each dealing with one of the above systems. In each case we use dynamical models to uncover the past of the system.

Saturn Stratospheric Hazes from Cassini Limb Images

Tuesday, June 21 2011 - 5:13 pm, PDT
We will analyze Cassini data to produce detailed haze extinction profiles for both northern and southern latitudes on Saturn down to pressure levels ~50 mbar, with methods similar to those used by Rages et al. (1999) on Galileo images of Jupiter, and with the expectation of similar results. We will perform a similar analysis of archival Voyager data to explore Saturn's southern mid-latitudes almost one saturnian year earlier. We will use this information to determine the fractal scattering properties of the stratospheric hazes, and in combination with a microphysics model including fractal aggregate hazes, to determine how and where these hazes are being produced, transported, and destroyed.

The role of photoevaporation in clearing protoplanetary disks: mapping flows and determining mass flow rates

Sunday, May 01 2011 - 4:06 pm, PDT
protoplanetary disks: mapping flows and determining mass flow rates

Planetary Protection: Policy Development, Implementation Issues, and Societal Concerns

Wednesday, April 13 2011 - 5:00 pm, PDT
Our work will maintain a focus on planetary protection policies and implementation in the context of scientific exploration in the solar system, and will also examine and communicate about the implications of new and revised PP policy in response to future planned human missions and commercial space activities on the Moon and Mars.

Formation of Solar and Extrasolar Giant Planets by Core-Nucleated Accretion

Wednesday, September 01 2010 - 2:27 pm, PDT
The objective of the proposed research is the improvement of the understanding of gas giant planet formation through the Core-Nucleated Accretion model, based on constraints derived from solar and extrasolar planet observations.

Icy Moon

Terrestrial Planet Geologic History Investigations

Thursday, July 15 2010 - 3:31 pm, PDT
This project includes studies of the geological history of Mercury, Mars, and the satellites of Jupiter and Pluto, plus mission support and public outreach activities.

Investigating Post-Equinox Changes on Uranus

Sunday, November 01 2009 - 5:07 pm, PST
None at this time

Monitoring Active Atmospheres on Uranus and Neptune

Tuesday, September 01 2009 - 2:02 pm, PDT
Snapshot observations of Uranus and Neptune to further understand the changes in the atmospheric bands and bright spots of these two dynamic planets.

The Rings Node for the Planetary Data System

Friday, August 28 2009 - 2:14 pm, PDT
Continued improvements in the Planetary Data System, specifically the Rings Node, including development of an interactive website to engage the public about the diversity and significance of planetary ring systems.

Planetary Ring-Moon Systems: Observation and Interpretation

Friday, May 15 2009 - 2:13 pm, PDT
This study analyzes the existing data on the rings of Uranus and Neptune, using data from Voyager and other public-domain archives.