Planetary Science Research
|Graduate Students, Lindsey Link and Nicole Cates studying the
latest images from the surface of Mars.
Faculty and affiliated research scientists
advise students in a broad range of solar system topics, ranging
from interiors to surfaces to atmospheres to magnetospheres to formation
of planets. The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP)
develops instrumentation for planetary missions. LASP
researchers have built and operated instruments for spacecraft such
as Voyager, Galileo,
and Cassini. Faculty are involved in observations
using the Hubble Space Telescope, the Mars
Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mercury's MESSENGER mission, Pluto's and the New Horizons mission.
In addition to spacecraft missions, data analysis, and instrumentation,
graduate students are involved in experimental space science, ground-based
observations, and theoretical research. Through the CU Center
for Astrobiology, planetary students and faculty are able to
look at some of the broader implications of their research for understanding
the potential for life elsewhere. CU planetary students also
have an excellent track record for securing their own research funding
from external sources, such as the NASA Earth and Space Science
Fellowship Program, enabling them to pursue research projects of
their own design with a sponsoring faculty member.