PTYS/LPL Faculty

Walter Harris


  • Yan Betremieux (Max Plank-Heidelberg)
  • Jason Corliss (LPL)
  • Louis Giersch (JPL)
  • Jeff Morgenthaler (PSI)


  • S. Sona Hosseini
  • Jake Bobula
  • Olivia Dawson (JPL)
  • Toby Neef (University of Connecticut)
  • Frédéric Vincent
Walter Harris
Associate Professor
Planetary atmospheres, Solar and heliospheric physics, Remote sensing instrumentation
Ph.D., 1993, University of Michigan

Kuiper   #221

Years with LPL:  2013 to present


Dr. Harris' research is focused on the structure of thin atmospheres and their transition to and interactions with the space environment. He is particularly interested the information that comet atmospheres provide about basic photochemical processes, the formation of the solar system, and how the characteristics of the solar wind. He is also engaged in an ongoing study of the plasma interface between the solar wind and interstellar medium via remote sensing of interstellar neutral material as it passes through the solar system.

In addition to their observational program, Dr. Harris' group has an active instrument development effort in the area of spatial heterodyne spectroscopy, or SHS. SHS instruments occupy a special observational niche by providing very high velocity resolution of angularly extended emission line targets with much higher sensitivity than classical spectroscopy. Current funding for SHS development has led to new instruments for both ground (visible band) and suborbital (far
ultraviolet) observations of comets and the interplanetary medium.


  • Broadband Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy: High Resolving Power Interference Spectroscopy of Extended Sources in the Visible and Ultraviolet
  • Spectro-Polarimetric Study of the Dynamics and Distribution of Interplanetary Hydrogen as a Probe of the Heliosphere-ISM Interface.


NASA ADS Author Search: Walter Harris


Dello Russo, N., et al. The volatile composition of 81P/Wild 2 from ground-based high-resolution infrared spectroscopy 2014Icar..238..125D

Rejkuba, M., et al. Tracing the outer halo in a giant elliptical to 25 Reff 2014arXiv1406.4627R

Vincent, F. E., et al. Observations of the Interplanetary Hydrogen during Solar Cycles 23 and 24. What can We Deduce about the Local Interstellar Medium? 2014ApJ...788L..25V

Kawakita, H., et al. Extremely Organic-rich Coma of Comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) during its Outburst in 2012 2014ApJ...788..110K

McKay, A. J., Rotational variation of daughter species production rates in Comet 103P/Hartley: Implications for the progeny of daughter species and the degree of chemical heterogeneity 2014Icar..231..193M

Kawakita, H., et al. Parent volatiles in Comet 103P/Hartley 2 observed by Keck II with NIRSPEC during the 2010 apparition 2013Icar..222..723K

Dello Russo, N., et al. A high-resolution infrared spectral survey of 103P/Hartley 2 on the night of the EPOXI closest approach 2013Icar..222..707D

McKay, A. J., et al. Observations of the forbidden oxygen lines in DIXI target Comet 103P/Hartley 2013Icar..222..684M

Lisse, C., et al. Cometary Ices

Hosseini, S., Harris, W. Khayyam: a second generation tunable spatial heterodyne spectrometer for broadband observation of diffuse emission line targets 2011SPIE.8146E.296H

Vincent, F. E., Ben-Jaffel, L., Harris, W. M. Updated Analysis of the Upwind Interplanetary Hydrogen Velocity as Observed by the Hubble Space Telescope during Solar Cycle 23 2011ApJ...738..135V

Dello Russo, N., et al. The Volatile Composition and Activity of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 During the EPOXI Closest Approach 2011ApJ...734L...8D

Morgenthaler, J. P., et al. GALEX FUV Observations of Comet C/2004 Q2 (MACHHOLZ): The Ionization Lifetime of Carbon 2011ApJ...726....8M

Hosseini, S. S., et al. Tunable spatial heterodyne spectroscopy (TSHS): a new technique for broadband visible interferometry 2010SPIE.7734E.111H

Bétrémieux, Y., et al. Description and ray-tracing simulations of HYPE: a far-ultraviolet polarimetric spatial-heterodyne spectrometer 2010SPIE.7732E..74B

Harlander, J. M., et al. First results from an all-reflection spatial heterodyne spectrometer with broad spectral coverage 2010OExpr..18.6205H

Harris, W. M. High Resolution Spectroscopic Campaigns to Support Spacecraft Observations of Comets with Small Telescopes 2009EM&P..105..351H

Dawson, O. R., Harris, W. M. Tunable, all-reflective spatial heterodyne spectrometer for broadband spectral line studies in the visible and near-ultraviolet 2009ApOpt..48.4227D

Morgenthaler, J. P., Harris, W. M., Combi, M. R. Large Aperture O I 6300 Å Observations of Comet Hyakutake: Implications for the Photochemistry of OH and O I Production in Comet Hale-Bopp 2007ApJ...657.1162M

Ben-Jaffel, L., et al. Predictions on the application of the Hanle effect to map the surface magnetic field of Jupiter 2005Icar..178..297B

Glinski, R. J., et al. Oxygen/Hydrogen Chemistry in the Inner Comae of Active Comets 2004ApJ...608..601G

Combi, M. R., Harris, W. M., Smyth, W. H. Gas dynamics and kinetics in the cometary coma: theory and observations

Harris, W. M., et al. Studies of H Ly-α emissions in the solar neighborhood with the techniques of polarimetry and spatial heterodyne spectroscopy (SHS) 2003SPIE.4854..676H

Harris, W. M. Icy Bodies of the Outer Solar System: New Scientific Explorations in the Visible and Ultraviolet 2003ASPC..291...85H

Oliversen, R. J., et al. Measurements of [C I] Emission from Comet Hale-Bopp 2002ApJ...581..770O

Harris, W. M., et al. Production, Outflow Velocity, and Radial Distribution of H2O and OH in the Coma of Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) from Wide-Field Imaging of OH 2002ApJ...578..996H

Morgenthaler, J. P., et al. The Gas Production Rate and Coma Structure of Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) 2002EM&P...90...77M

Harris, W. M., et al. Wide Field Imaging and the Velocity Structure in the Coma of Hale-Bopp 2002EM&P...90...45H

Morgenthaler, J. P., et al. Velocity-Resolved Observations of H<b>α</b> Emission From Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) 2002EM&P...90...89M

Morgenthaler, J. P., et al. Large-Aperture [O I] 6300 Å Photometry of Comet Hale-Bopp: Implications for the Photochemistry of OH 2001ApJ...563..451M

Percival, J. W., et al. Low-cost attitude determination system and imager with embedded compression 2000SPIE.4013..394P

Vincent, M. B., et al. Jupiter's Polar Regions in the Ultraviolet as Imaged by HST/WFPC2: Auroral-Aligned Features and Zonal Motions 2000Icar..143..205V

Vincent, M. B., et al. Mapping Jupiter's Latitudinal Bands and Great Red Spot Using HST/WFPC2 Far-Ultraviolet Imaging 2000Icar..143..189V

Nordsieck, K. H., Harris, W. M. et al. Ultraviolet astronomical polarimetry: some results and prospects 1999SPIE.3764..124N

Cole, A. A., Nordsieck, K. H., Gibson, S. J., Harris, W. M. Ultraviolet Imaging Polarimetry of the Large Magellanic Cloud. I. Observations 1999AJ....118.2280C

Harris, W. M., Nordsieck, K. H., Scherb, F., Mierkiewicz, E. J. UV Photopolarimetric Imaging of C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) with the Wide Field Imaging Survey Polarimeter (WISP) 1997EM&P...78..161H

Harris, W. M., Combi, M. R., Honeycutt, R. K., Mueller, B. E. A. Evidence for interacting gas flows and an extended volatile source distribution in the coma of Comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake)1997Sci...277..676H

Ballester, G. E., et al. Time-Resolved Observations of Jupiter's Far-Ultraviolet Aurora 1996Sci...274..409B

Nordsieck, K. H., Harris, W. Future UV/ Visible Spectropolarimetric Studies of Interstellar Polarization at the University of Wisconsin 1996ASPC...97..100N

Ballester, G. E., et al. Far-UV emissions from the SL9 impacts with Jupiter 1995GeoRL..22.2425B