PTYS/LPL Faculty

Kuiper 515

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Renu Malhotra

Regents Professor, Louise Foucar Marshall Science Research Professor

Ph.D., 1988, Cornell University

Years with LPL: 2000 to present

Astrobiology, Exoplanets; Planetary Formation and Evolution, Orbital Dynamics, Small Bodies, Theoretical Astrophysics

Professor Malhotra's research spans orbital dynamics in the solar system and in exo-solar planetary systems. Current topics of research are: theory of orbital resonances, long term stability and chaos in the asteroid belt and in the Kuiper belt, the orbital migration history of the giant planets, and the dynamics of exo-solar planetary systems.

Renu Malhotra is Louise Foucar Marshall Science Research Professor and Regents Professor of Planetary Sciences at The University of Arizona in Tucson, where she directed the Theoretical Astrophysics Program during 2011-2016. She was born in New Delhi and grew up in Hyderabad, India. She earned her M.S. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi in 1983, and her Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1988. She did post-doctoral research at Cornell and at Caltech, and worked as a staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. Her work in planetary dynamics has spanned a wide variety of topics, including extra-solar planets and debris disks around nearby stars, the formation and evolution of the Kuiper belt and the asteroid belt, the orbital resonances amongst the moons of the giant planets, and the meteoritic bombardment history of the planets. She has revolutionized our understanding of the history of the solar system by using the orbital resonance between Pluto and Neptune to infer large-scale orbital migration of the giant planets and to predict the existence of the "Plutinos" and other small planets in resonance with Neptune. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been the recipient of honors and awards from the American Astronomical Society, the International Astronomical Union, the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cornell University, The University of Arizona, and the IIT-Delhi.

Current Grants

  • Co-I, Alien Earths: NASA
  • PI: Provenance of the Plutinos: JPL-SURP
  • Co-I, Dynamics of sticky resonances and detached Kuiper belt objects: NASA
  • PI, Kuiper Belt Dynamics with a Distant Unseen Planet: NSF
  • PI, Distribution of planet masses, planet-planet separations and dynamical lifetimes of planetary systems: NASA
  • Co-I, Earths in Other Solar Systems: Toward forming and discovering planets: NASA

Current Spacecraft Involvement

Former Spacecraft Involvement

  • Interstellar Probe Science Definition Team, 1999-2004
  • Brenae Bailey (APPMATH)
  • Theodore Broeren (APPMATH)
  • Saverio Cambioni (PTYS)
  • Jose Daniel Castro Cisneros (PHYS)
  • Michael Hammer (ASTR)
  • Hamish Hay (PTYS)
  • Nathan Hendler (PTYS)
  • Youngmin JeongAhn (PTYS)
  • Lei Lan (Tsinghua University)
  • Po-Yen Liu (NCU-Taiwan)
  • David Lomeli (PHYS+ASTR)
  • Ian Matheson (AME)
  • David Minton (PTYS)
  • Amaya Moro-Martin (ASTR)
  • Sarah Morrison (PTYS)
  • Jessica Pillow (APPMATH)
  • Nathan Reiland (AME)
  • Timothy Rodigas (ASTR)
  • Benjamin Sharkey (PTYS)
  • Rachel Smullen (ASTR)
  • Adam Sutherland (ASTR)
  • Matthew Tiscareno (PTYS)
  • Kathryn Volk ( PTYS)
  • Xianyu Wang (Tsinghua University)
  • Nan Zhang  (Tsinghua University)

Former Postdocs

  • Kathryn Volk
  • Joseph Hahn
  • Stephen Kortenkamp

Current Staff Scientists

  • Kathryn Volk

 

Based on Google Scholar and NASA ADS: NASA ADS Author search: Renu Malhotra

Recent refereed publications (NASA ADS): Years 2019 through 2020

Malhotra, R. The case for a deep search for Earth’s Trojan asteroids. Nat Astron 3, 193–194 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-019-0697-z

Hendler, Nathanial P. & Malhotra, Renu 2020, The Planetary Science Journal. Observational Completion Limit of Minor Planets from the Asteroid Belt to Jupiter Trojans

Petrovich, Cristobal, Muñoz, Diego J., Kratter, Kaitlin M., & Malhotra, Renu 2020, The Astrophysical Journal. A Disk-driven Resonance as the Origin of High Inclinations of Close-in Planets

Barnouin, O. S.,  et al. (including Malhotra, R.) 2020, Nature Geoscience. Author Correction: Shape of (101955) Bennu indicative of a rubble pile with internal stiffness

Volk, Kathryn & Malhotra, Renu 2020, The Astronomical Journal. Dynamical Instabilities in Systems of Multiple Short-period Planets Are Likely Driven by Secular Chaos: A Case Study of Kepler-102

Malhotra, Renu & Zhang, Nan 2020, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. On the divergence of first-order resonance widths at low eccentricities

Malhotra, Renu & Ingersoll, Andrew P. 2020, Icarus. Adam P. Showman (1968-2020)

Amato, Davide, Malhotra, Renu, Sidorenko, Vladislav, & Rosengren, Aaron J. 2020, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. Lunar close encounters compete with the circumterrestrial Lidov-Kozai effect

Hendler, Nathanial, Pascucci, Ilaria, Pinilla, Paola, Tazzari, Marco, Carpenter, John, Malhotra, Renu, & Testi, Leonardo 2020, The Astrophysical Journal. The Evolution of Dust Disk Sizes from a Homogeneous Analysis of 1-10 Myr old Stars

Markwardt, Larissa, Gerdes, D. W., Malhotra, R., Becker, J. C., Hamilton, S. J., & Adams, F. C. 2020, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Search for L5 Earth Trojans with DECam

Malhotra, Renu 2019, Geoscience Letters. Resonant Kuiper belt objects: a review

Lan, Lei & Malhotra, Renu 2019, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. Neptune's resonances in the scattered disk

Volk, Kathryn & Malhotra, Renu 2019, The Astronomical Journal. Not a Simple Relationship between Neptune’s Migration Speed and Kuiper Belt Inclination Excitation

Su, Kate Y. L., Jackson, Alan P., Gáspár, András, Rieke, George H., Dong, Ruobing, Olofsson, Johan, Kennedy, G. M., Leinhardt, Zoë M., Malhotra, Renu, Hammer, Michael, Meng, Huan Y. A., Rujopakarn, W., Rodriguez, Joseph E., Pepper, Joshua, Reichart, D. E., James, David, & Stassun, Keivan G. 2019, The Astronomical Journal. Extreme Debris Disk Variability: Exploring the Diverse Outcomes of Large Asteroid Impacts During the Era of Terrestrial Planet Formation

Walsh, K. J., Jawin, E. R., Ballouz, R. -L., Barnouin, O. S., Bierhaus, E. B., Connolly, H. C., Molaro, J. L., McCoy, T. J., Delbo', M., Hartzell, C. M., Pajola, M., Schwartz, S. R., Trang, D., Asphaug, E., Becker, K. J., Beddingfield, C. B., Bennett, C. A., Bottke, W. F., Burke, K. N., Clark, B. C., Daly, M. G., Dellagiustina, D. N., Dworkin, J. P., Elder, C. M., Golish, D. R., Hildebrand, A. R., Malhotra, R., Marshall, J., Michel, P., Nolan, M. C., Perry, M. E., Rizk, B., Ryan, A., Sandford, S. A., Scheeres, D. J., Susorney, H. C. M., Thuillet, F., Lauretta, D. S., & Osiris-Rex Team 2019, Nature Geoscience. Publisher Correction: Craters, boulders and regolith of (101955) Bennu indicative of an old and dynamic surface

Barnouin, O. S., et al. (including Malhotra, R.) 2019, Nature Geoscience. Shape of (101955) Bennu indicative of a rubble pile with internal stiffness

Walsh, K. J., Jawin, E. R., Ballouz, R. -L., Barnouin, O. S., Bierhaus, E. B., Connolly, H. C., Molaro, J. L., McCoy, T. J., Delbo', M., Hartzell, C. M., Pajola, M., Schwartz, S. R., Trang, D., Asphaug, E., Becker, K. J., Beddingfield, C. B., Bennett, C. A., Bottke, W. F., Burke, K. N., Clark, B. C., Daly, M. G., Dellagiustina, D. N., Dworkin, J. P., Elder, C. M., Golish, D. R., Hildebrand, A. R., Malhotra, R., Marshall, J., Michel, P., Nolan, M. C., Perry, M. E., Rizk, B., Ryan, A., Sandford, S. A., Scheeres, D. J., Susorney, H. C. M., Thuillet, F., Lauretta, D. S., & Osiris-Rex Team 2019, Nature Geoscience. Craters, boulders and regolith of (101955) Bennu indicative of an old and dynamic surface

Rizk, B., Drouet d'Aubigny, C., Hergenrother, C. W., Bos, B. J., Golish, D. R., Malhotra, R., Lauretta, D. S., Butt, J., Patel, J., Fitzgibbon, M., May, C., Bierhaus, E. B., Freund, S., Fisher, M., Cambioni, S., Bennett, C. A., Balram-Knutson, S. S., Harshman, K., DellaGiustina, D. N., Antreasian, P., Leonard, J., Mink, R., Calloway, A., Bartels, A. E., Enos, H., Boynton, W. V., Nolan, M. C., & Moreau, M. 2019, Advances in Space Research. OSIRIS-REx low-velocity particles during outbound cruise

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Semester Course Day/Time Location Resources
Spring 2021 PTYS 595B-002 TTH 9:30-10:45a.m. Kuiper 301 Syllabus
D2L
Spring 2020 PTYS 553-001 TTH 9:30-10:45a.m. Kuiper 312 Syllabus

Last updated on February 25, 2021