Fran Bagenal

Planetary Space Physicist


  • 303-492-2598
  • Alternate email:
  • Office: SPSC-N292


MIT — Cambridge, MA
PhD, Earth & Planetary Sciences


Fran Bagenal studies the magnetic fields of planets, the interactions of plasmas with atmospheres, and magnetospheric processes. She has worked with plasma data from a variety of space missions, starting with the Voyager mission to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. She was on the science teams of the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Deep Space 1 mission to Comet Borrelly. She edited Jupiter: Planet, Satellites and Magnetosphere (Cambridge University Press, 2004). She leads the plasma teams on the first two New Frontiers missions: New Horizons mission to Pluto (launched January 2006, flew past Pluto in July 2015) and Juno, a Jupiter polar orbiter (launched 2011, arrived at Jupiter in 2016).


New Horizons mission to Pluto, Juno mission to Jupiter.


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (Total 175 published papers since 1977)
Direct plasma measurements in the Io torus and inner magnetosphere of Jupiter, F. Bagenal & J.D. Sullivan, J. Geophys. Res. 86, 8447, 1981
Empirical model of the Io plasma torus: I Voyager measurements, F. Bagenal, J. Geophys. Res., 99, 11043-11062, 1994
Comparative Planetary Environments, F. Bagenal, in Heliophysics: Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos, C.J. Schrijver, G.L. Siscoe (eds), Cambridge University Press, pp 360-398, 2009
Solar wind interaction with Jupiter’s magnetosphere, P.A. Delamere, F. Bagenal, J. Geophys. Res., 115, A10201, 2010
Mass and Energy Flow Through the Magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, Bagenal, F., P.A. Delamere, J. Geophys. Res., 116, A05209, 2011
Magnetospheric Science Objectives of the Juno Mission, F. Bagenal, et al. Space Sci. Rev., 2014
Plasma conditions at Europa's orbit, Bagenal, et al., Icarus, 261, 1-13, 2015
Survey of Galileo Plasma Observations 1 in Jupiter’s Plasma [...]

[+] show more


Member of the American Astronomical Society and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Honors and awards

2018 Van Allen Lecture of the American Geophysical Union
2010 Boulder Faculty Assembly’s Excellence in Research Award
2006 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
Ten NASA Group Achievement Awards for contributions to the Voyager, Galileo, Deep Space 1, New Horizons, and Juno missions.
2000, 2003 President's Faculty Excellence Award for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Technology, University of Colorado, Boulder

Related links