PTYS/LPL Faculty

Gilda Ballester

Senior Research Scientist
Planetary atmospheres, Exoplanets
Ph.D., 1989, Johns Hopkins University

520-621-4073 ∙ 520-743-3538
Sonett 145

Years with LPL: 2000 to present


Characterization of exoplanets with transit spectroscopic observations at UV, optical and IR wavelengths with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and through collaborative ground-based observations.  Proposals for other instruments.  The research spans the properties of the lower, middle, and upper atmospheres, as well as of the planet-star interaction (magnetospheric) regions.  With our current HST Panchromatic Comparative Exoplanet Treasury program (PanCET) we are characterizing ultra-hot, hot, and warm Jupiters, as well as warm Saturns, Neptunes, and super-Earths.  Early research on Io's atmosphere and plasma torus, and on the upper atmospheres, auroras and magnetospheric interactions of Jupiter, Saturn (ongoing) and Uranus with both imaging and spectroscopy.  Current collaborations with researchers at: IAP (France), U. of Exeter (UK), T.U. of Berlin (D.E.), U. Reims (France), INTA (Spain), Tennessee State (USA), U. of Arizona Steward (USA), Johns Hopkins U. (USA) STScI (USA), JPL (USA), other.  


Student Collaborations/Advising

Former Students

  • K. L. Jessup

Former Postdocs

  • David K. Sing
  • Walt Harris



Complete publications list available from: NASA ADS Author Search: Gilda Ballester

Refereed publications (NASA ADS): Calendar Year 2016 through July 2018

Nikolov, N., Sing, D. K., Fortney, J. J., Goyal, J. M., Drummond, B., Evans, T. M., Gibson, N. P., De Mooij, E. J. W., Rustamkulov, Z., Wakeford, H. R., Smalley, B., Burgasser, A. J., Hellier, C., Helling, C., Mayne, N. J., Madhusudhan, N., Kataria, T., Baines, J., Carter, A. L., Ballester, G. E., Barstow, J. K., McCleery, J., Spake, J. J.  An absolute sodium abundance for a cloud-free `hot Saturn' exoplanet 2018Natur.557..526N

Nikolov, N., Sing, D. K., Goyal, J., Henry, G. W., Wakeford, H. R., Evans, T. M., López-Morales, M., García Muñoz, A., Ben-Jaffel, L., Sanz-Forcada, J., Ballester, G. E., Kataria, T., Barstow, J. K., Bourrier, V., Buchhave, L. A., Cohen, O., Deming, D., Ehrenreich, D., Knutson, H., Lavvas, P., Lecavelier des Etangs, A., Lewis, N. K., Mandell, A. M., Williamson, M. H.  Hubble PanCET: an isothermal day-side atmosphere for the bloated gas-giant HAT-P-32Ab 2018MNRAS.474.1705N

Wakeford, H. R., Sing, D. K., Deming, D., Lewis, N. K., Goyal, J., Wilson, T. J., Barstow, J., Kataria, T., Drummond, B., Evans, T. M., Carter, A. L., Nikolov, N., Knutson, H. A., Ballester, G. E., Mandell, A. M.  The Complete Transmission Spectrum of WASP-39b with a Precise Water Constraint 2018AJ....155...29W

Evans, T. M., Sing, D. K., Kataria, T., Goyal, J., Nikolov, N., Wakeford, H. R., Deming, D., Marley, M. S., Amundsen, D. S., Ballester, G. E., Barstow, J. K., Ben-Jaffel, L., Bourrier, V., Buchhave, L. A., Cohen, O., Ehrenreich, D., García Muñoz, A., Henry, G. W., Knutson, H., Lavvas, P., Lecavelier Des Etangs, A., Lewis, N. K., López-Morales, M., Mandell, A. M., Sanz-Forcada, J., Tremblin, P., Lupu, R.  An ultrahot gas-giant exoplanet with a stratosphere 2017Natur.548...58E

Wakeford, H. R., Stevenson, K. B., Lewis, N. K., Sing, D. K., López-Morales, M., Marley, M., Kataria, T., Mandell, A., Ballester, G. E., Barstow, J., Ben-Jaffel, L., Bourrier, V., Buchhave, L. A., Ehrenreich, D., Evans, T., García Muñoz, A., Henry, G., Knutson, H., Lavvas, P., Lecavelier des Etangs, A., Nikolov, N., Sanz-Forcada, J.  HST PanCET program: A Cloudy Atmosphere for the Promising JWST Target WASP-101b 2017ApJ...835L..12W

Fischer, P. D., Knutson, H. A., Sing, D. K., Henry, G. W., Williamson, M. W., Fortney, J. J., Burrows, A. S., Kataria, T., Nikolov, N., Showman, A. P., Ballester, G. E., Désert, J.-M., Aigrain, S., Deming, D., Lecavelier des Etangs, A., Vidal-Madjar, A.  HST Hot-Jupiter Transmission Spectral Survey: Clear Skies for Cool Saturn WASP-39b 2016ApJ...827...19F

Evans, T. M., Sing, D. K., Wakeford, H. R., Nikolov, N., Ballester, G. E., Drummond, B., Kataria, T., Gibson, N. P., Amundsen, D. S., Spake, J.  Detection of H2O and Evidence for TiO/VO in an Ultra-hot Exoplanet Atmosphere 2016ApJ...822L...4E

Sing, D. K., Fortney, J. J., Nikolov, N., Wakeford, H. R., Kataria, T., Evans, T. M., Aigrain, S., Ballester, G. E., Burrows, A. S., Deming, D., Désert, J.-M., Gibson, N. P., Henry, G. W., Huitson, C. M., Knutson, H. A., Lecavelier Des Etangs, A., Pont, F., Showman, A. P., Vidal-Madjar, A., Williamson, M. H., Wilson, P. A.  A continuum from clear to cloudy hot-Jupiter exoplanets without primordial water depletion 2016Natur.529...59S

Available filesSizeCreated
PDF icon Gildaslongbio-Aug2018-LPL.pdf230.76 KBAugust 10, 2018

Last updated on August 10, 2018