Planetary Surfaces

Planetary Surfaces Faculty

Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna

Associate Professor
Erik Asphaug

Erik Asphaug

Professor

Victor Baker

Regents' Professor

Shane Byrne

Professor
Assistant Department Head

Lynn Carter

Associate Professor

Christopher Hamilton

Assistant Professor

Jack Holt

Professor, EDO Director

Alfred McEwen

Regents' Professor

Jon Pelletier

Professor

Vishnu Reddy

Associate Professor

Other Researchers Working in Planetary Surfaces

Ali Bramson

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Veronica Bray

Associate Staff Scientist

Matthew Chojnacki

Associate Staff Scientist

Daniella DellaGiustina

Image Processing Lead Scientist, OSIRIS-REx
Senior Staff Scientist

Indujaa Ganesh

PTYS Graduate Student

Theodore Kareta

PTYS Graduate Student

Erich Karkoschka

Senior Staff Scientist

Weigang Liang

PTYS Graduate Student

Daniel Lo

PTYS Graduate Student

Pranabendu Moitra

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Patrick O'Brien

PTYS Graduate Student

Maureen Palmer

PTYS Graduate Student

Luke Ranieri

PTYS Graduate Student

Andrew Ryan

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Stephen Schwartz

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Laura Seifert

PTYS Graduate Student

Benjamin Sharkey

PTYS Graduate Student
Emileigh Shoemaker

Emileigh Shoemaker

PTYS Graduate Student

Amanda Stadermann

PTYS Graduate Student

Sarah Sutton

PTYS Graduate Student, Scientist, Photogrammetry & Image Processing

Harry Tang

PTYS Graduate Student

Joana Voigt

PTYS Graduate Student

Support Staff Working in Planetary Surfaces

Michael Christoffersen

Research Specialist

Singleton Thibodeaux-Yost

Science Operations Engineer, HiRISE

Planetary surfaces are influenced by their interior processes (e.g. volcanoes), exterior effects (e.g. impact cratering) and their atmospheres (e.g. wind and rain) and so can be incredibly informative when it comes to figuring out a planet’s history. The decade from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s saw the exploration of much of the inner solar system with the photography of surfaces of the Moon (including its unseen far-side), Mercury and Mars. LPL’s previous work on telescopic mapping of the lunar surface had left it well prepared to play leading roles in most of these missions and the interpretation of the data they returned. In the following decades, LPL continued contributing to the study of planetary surfaces around the solar system with cameras aboard the Mars Pathfinder mission, the Huygens lander on Saturn’s moon Titan and the operation of the Phoenix lander on Mars. The study of these surfaces has also grown in sophistication and now includes analysis of surface composition from remote spacecraft as well as analysis of returned samples here in the laboratory.

Today at Mars, LPL is operating the HiRISE camera aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which takes higher resolution images than any camera to fly on a planetary mission. At Saturn, LPL operates the VIMS instrument on the Cassini spacecraft, which takes images in hundreds of different colors to allow the composition of the target to be determined. LPL faculty also have ongoing involvement in numerous other instruments and missions investigating planetary surfaces.