Gilda Ballester

PTYS/LPL Faculty

Sonett 135

520-621-4305, 520-743-3538

Gilda Ballester

Research Professor (Retired)

Ph.D., 1989, Johns Hopkins University

Years with LPL: 2000 to 2021

Exoplanets, Planetary Astronomy, Planetary Atmospheres

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, and the extended planet-star magnetospheric interaction regions.  Under our current Panchromatic Comparative Exoplanet Treasury program (PanCET) with HST we are characterizing from ultra-hot to hot Jupiters, warm exoplanets from Jupiter to super-Earth masses, and their host stars, based on both observations and multi-disciplinary modeling.  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), Johns Hopkins U., U. Reims (France), CSIC-INTA (Spain), Tennessee State U., U. of Arizona Steward Observatory, STScI, JPL, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, other USA institutions.

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

Recent refereed publications (NASA ADS): Years 2019 through 2022

Wong, Ian, Chachan, Yayaati, Knutson, Heather A., Henry, Gregory W., Adams, Danica, Kataria, Tiffany, Benneke, Björn, Gao, Peter, Deming, Drake, López-Morales, Mercedes, Sing, David K., Alam, Munazza K., Ballester, Gilda E., Barstow, Joanna K., Buchhave, Lars A., dos Santos, Leonardo A., Fu, Guangwei, García Muñoz, Antonio, MacDonald, Ryan J., Mikal-Evans, Thomas, Sanz-Forcada, Jorge, & Wakeford, Hannah R. 2022, The Astronomical Journal. The Hubble PanCET Program: A Featureless Transmission Spectrum for WASP-29b and Evidence of Enhanced Atmospheric Metallicity on WASP-80b

Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi, Ballester, Gilda E., García Muñoz, Antonio, Lavvas, Panayotis, Sing, David K., Sanz-Forcada, Jorge, Cohen, Ofer, Kataria, Tiffany, Henry, Gregory W., Buchhave, Lars, Mikal-Evans, Thomas, Wakeford, Hannah R., & López-Morales, Mercedes 2022, Nature Astronomy. Signatures of strong magnetization and a metal-poor atmosphere for a Neptune-sized exoplanet

Sheppard, Kyle B., Welbanks, Luis, Mandell, Avi M., Madhusudhan, Nikku, Nikolov, Nikolay, Deming, Drake, Henry, Gregory W., Williamson, Michael H., Sing, David K., López-Morales, Mercedes, Ih, Jegug, Sanz-Forcada, Jorge, Lavvas, Panayotis, Ballester, Gilda E., Evans, Thomas M., García Muñoz, Antonio, & dos Santos, Leonardo A. 2021, The Astronomical Journal. The Hubble PanCET Program: A Metal-rich Atmosphere for the Inflated Hot Jupiter HAT-P-41b

Wong, Ian, Benneke, Björn, Gao, Peter, Knutson, Heather A., Chachan, Yayaati, Henry, Gregory W., Deming, Drake, Kataria, Tiffany, Lee, Graham K. H., Nikolov, Nikolay, Sing, David K., Ballester, Gilda E., Baskin, Nathaniel J., Wakeford, Hannah R., & Williamson, Michael H. 2020, The Astronomical Journal. Optical to Near-infrared Transmission Spectrum of the Warm Sub-Saturn HAT-P-12b

Bruno, Giovanni, Lewis, Nikole K., Alam, Munazza K., López-Morales, Mercedes, Barstow, Joanna K., Wakeford, Hannah R., Sing, David K., Henry, Gregory W., Ballester, Gilda E., Bourrier, Vincent, Buchhave, Lars A., Cohen, Ofer, Mikal-Evans, Thomas, García Muñoz, Antonio, Lavvas, Panayotis, & Sanz-Forcada, Jorge 2020, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. WASP-52b. The effect of star-spot correction on atmospheric retrievals

Mikal-Evans, Thomas, Sing, David K., Goyal, Jayesh M., Drummond, Benjamin, Carter, Aarynn L., Henry, Gregory W., Wakeford, Hannah R., Lewis, Nikole K., Marley, Mark S., Tremblin, Pascal, Nikolov, Nikolay, Kataria, Tiffany, Deming, Drake, & Ballester, Gilda E. 2019, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. An emission spectrum for WASP-121b measured across the 0.8-1.1 μm wavelength range using the Hubble Space Telescope

dos Santos, L. A., Ehrenreich, D., Bourrier, V., Lecavelier des Etangs, A., López-Morales, M., Sing, D. K., Ballester, G., Ben-Jaffel, L., Buchhave, L. A., García Muñoz, A., Henry, G. W., Kataria, T., Lavie, B., Lavvas, P., Lewis, N. K., Mikal-Evans, T., Sanz-Forcada, J., & Wakeford, H. 2019, Astronomy and Astrophysics. The Hubble PanCET program: an extensive search for metallic ions in the exosphere of GJ 436 b

Sing, David K., Lavvas, Panayotis, Ballester, Gilda E., Lecavelier des Etangs, Alain, Marley, Mark S., Nikolov, Nikolay, Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi, Bourrier, Vincent, Buchhave, Lars A., Deming, Drake L., Ehrenreich, David, Mikal-Evans, Thomas, Kataria, Tiffany, Lewis, Nikole K., López-Morales, Mercedes, García Muñoz, Antonio, Henry, Gregory W., Sanz-Forcada, Jorge, Spake, Jessica J., Wakeford, Hannah R., & PanCET Collaboration 2019, The Astronomical Journal. The Hubble Space Telescope PanCET Program: Exospheric Mg II and Fe II in the Near-ultraviolet Transmission Spectrum of WASP-121b Using Jitter Decorrelation

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