I am interested in studying the Giant Planets of our Solar System (Jupiter,
Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune).
Io Plasma Torus
Currently I am studying the Io Plasma Torus (shown to the left) around Jupiter with
Professor Paul Withers. The plasma torus is created by
the stripping of molecules and atoms from Io at a rate of 1 ton/sec that are then ionized
through collisions with other atoms/molecules or photons. These ionized particles
become trapped by Jupiter's magnetic field and form a torus near Io's orbit.
Outer Planetary Aurora
During the summer of 2014 I worked with
Professor John Clarke studing Jupiter's aurora
using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Ultraviolet(UV) images from the Advanced Camera
for Surveys (ACS) and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS).
I studied a Color Ratio which is the ratio of a bandpass of hydrocarbon (methane)
absorption to one of little or no absorption. From this ratio I will be able to
study particle acceleration mechanics and auroral energy input into the planet's
atmosphere. This image to the left shows the aurora of Jupiter (left) and Saturn (right)
taken with the ACS instrument during the 2007 and 2008 aurora campaign. More information
about the campaign can be found by clicking the image.