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Robert West's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-501
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Curriculum Vitae:

Robert West

  • B.S. with honors, Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California (1973)
  • Ph.D., Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (1977)

Research Interests
Radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres, especially observation and interpretation of multiply-scattered light observed by spacecraft and ground-based instruments.


Cassini-Huygens Icon Cassini-Huygens
The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is currently exploring the ringed planet, its mysterious moons, the stunning rings and its complex magnetic environment.

Professional Experience
  • Current Position: Senior Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA USA
    • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1984 - Present)
    • Research Associate, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and Lecturer, Dept. of Astro-Geophysics, University of Colorado, Boulder (1978 - 1984)

Selected Awards
NASA Group Achievement Awards for:
  • Cassini Solstice Pre-Integration Team (2011)
  • Comet Shoemaker-Levy Jupiter Impact Observation Team (Hubble Space Telescope)
  • Voyager PPS
  • Galileo UVS
  • Solar Mesosphere Explorer

Selected Publications

Encyclopedia Articles

  1. Radiative Transfer in Planetary Atmospheres in Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences. Chapman and Hall (1997).
  2. The Atmospheres of the Giant Planets, 3rd Edition. in Encyclopedia of the Solar System. Elsevier (2014). This volume received the PROSE award in 2015.
  3. Clouds in Planetary Atmospheres, in Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Institute of Physics Publishing and Grove Publishers Ltd. (2001).
  4. Saturn in McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology (Authors are T. C. Owen and R. A. West), in press, 2012.

Book Chapters

  1. Tomasko, M.G., R.A. West, G.S. Orton and V.G. Tejfel, "Clouds and Aerosols in Saturn's Atmosphere," in Saturn (T. Gehrels and M.S. Matthews, eds.), University of Arizona Press (1984).
  2. Beebe, R.F., G.S. Orton and R.A. West, "Time-Variable Nature of the Jovian Cloud Properties and Thermal Structure: An Observational Perspective." Review chapter in Time Variable Phenomena in the Jovian System, Belton, West and Rahe, eds. (NASA SP 494), (1989).
  3. West, R. A., K. H. Baines, and J. B. Pollack, "Clouds and Aerosols in the Uranian Atmosphere." in Uranus. J. T. Bergstralh and M.S. Matthews, Eds., Univ. of Arizona Press (1991).
  4. West, R. A., "Particles in Jupiter's Atmosphere from the Impacts of Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9," in The Collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Jupiter, K. Noll, P. Feldman and H. Weaver, Eds., Cambridge University Press, (1996).
  5. West, R.A., "Condensates in Jovian Atmospheres," in From Giant Planets to Cool Stars, C. Griffith and M. Marley, Eds., Astron. Soc. Pacific Conference Series (1999).
  6. West, R. A., K. H. Baines, A. J. Friedson, D. Banfield, B. Ragent, and F. Taylor, "Jovian Clouds and Haze", in Jupiter - The Planet, Satellites and Magnetosphere. F. Bagenal, T. Dowling and W. McKinnon, Eds., Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  7. Flasar, F. M., K. H. Baines, M. K. Bird, T. Tokano and R. A. West, "Atmospheric Dynamics and Meteorology", in Titan from Cassini/Huygens, R. Brown et al. Eds., Springer, 2009.
  8. Tomasko, M. G., and R. A. West, "Aerosols in Titan's Atmosphere", in Titan from Cassini/Huygens, R. Brown et al. Eds., Springer, 2009.
  9. West, R. A., K. H. Baines, E. Karkoschka and A. Sanchez-Lavega. "Clouds and Aerosols in Saturn's Atmosphere", in Saturn from Cassini/Huygens, MDougherty et al. Eds., Springer, 2009.
  10. West, R. A., P. Lavvas, C. Anderson, and H. Imanaka. "Titan's Haze", in Titan: Surface, Atmosphere and Magnetosphere, I. Muller-Wodarg, C. Griffith, E. Lellouch and T. Cravens, Eds., Cambridge Univ. Press, 2014.
  11. West, R.A., P.A. Yanamandra-Fisher and V. Korokhin, "Polarization of the gas giant planets, Saturn's rings, and Titan: Observations and Interpretation", in Polarimetry of stars and planetary systems, L. Kolokolva, J. Hough and A.-Chantal Levasseur-Regourd Eds., Cambridge Univ. Press, in press, 2015.
  12. Fletcher, L.N., T.K. Greatehouse, S. Guerlet, J.I. Moses and R.A. West, "Saturn's Seasonally Changing Atmosphere: Thermal Structure, Composition and Aerosols", in Saturn in the 21st Century, K. Bines, Ed., Cambridge Univ. Press, submitted, 2015.

Sample Journal Articles

  1. West, R.A., D.F. Strobel and M.G. Tomasko, "Clouds, Aerosols and Photochemistry in the Jovian Atmosphere," Icarus 65, 161-217 (1986).
  2. West, R., D. Crisp, and L. Chen, "Mapping Transformations for Broadband Atmospheric Radiation Calculations." J. Quant. Spectr. and Radiat. Transfer 43, 191-199, (1990).
  3. West, R. A., and P. H. Smith, "Evidence for Aggregate Particles in the Atmospheres of Titan and Jupiter." Icarus 90, 330-333 (1991).
  4. West, R. A., A. J. Friedson, and J. F. Appleby, "Jovian Large-Scale Stratospheric Circulation." Icarus 100, 245-259 (1992).
  5. West, R. A., E. Karkoschka, A. J. Friedson, M. Seymour, K. H. Baines and H. B. Hammel, "Impact Debris Particles in Jupiter's Stratosphere." Science 267, 1296-1301 (1995).
  6. West, R. A., M. E. Brown, S. V. Salinas, A. H. Bouchez & H. G. Roe, "No oceans on Titan from the absence of a near-infrared specular reflection", Nature, 436 pp. 670-672 (2005).

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