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Thomas Momary

Photo of Thomas Momary


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 183-601 Pasadena, CA 91109





Member of:

Planetary And Exoplanetary Atmospheres


  • B.S., Physics, University of California, San Diego
  • M.S., Geophysics and Space Physics, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Professional Certificate in Graphic Arts and Computer Animation, University of California, Los Angeles

Professional Experience

  • Planetary Astronomer/Space Artist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1993-Present)
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Earth & Space Sciences/Dept. of Astronomy, UCLA
  • Viewpoint Columnist, UCLA Daily Bruin

Community Service

  • AAS Division for Planetary Sciences
  • AGU
  • International Association of Astronomical Artists

Research Interests

  • Science visualization, animation production, painting, writing, sound design, and music to bring planetary exploration to life for the general public
  • The study of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, primarily the characterization and evolution of clouds, vertical structure, and satellite surfaces
  • Comparative exoplanetology and characterization of exoplanet atmospheres
  • Ground-based and Hubble observations of the gas and ice giant planets

Selected Awards

  • NASA Group Achievement Award - JunoCam Team
  • NASA Group Achievement Award - VIMS Team Scientific Achievement on Cassini-Equinox/Solstice Mission,
  • Cassini Science Team Award
  • Cassini Flight Team Group Achievement
  • NASA Outstanding Accomplishment in Service to NASA’s Student Involvement Program
  • JPL Voyager Award (2x)
  • Division 32 Science Team Award for Juno Mission Ground-based Observing Support Team

Selected Publications

  1. Tabataba-Vakili, F., Rogers, J., Eichstadt, G., Orton, G.S., Hansen, C., Momary, T, et al. (2020) Long-term Tracking of Circumpolar Cyclones on Jupiter From Polar Observations with JunoCam,  Icarus (accepted)
  2. Baines, K. H.; Sromovsky, L. A.; Carlson, R. W., Momary, T.W., Fry, P.M. (2019) The visual spectrum of Jupiter's Great Red Spot accurately modeled with aerosols produced by photolyzed ammonia reacting with acetylene.  Icarus, 330 Pages: 217-229 
  3. Buratti, B. J.; Thomas, P. C.; Roussos, E.; et al. (2019) Close Cassini flybys of Saturn's ring moons Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora, and Epimetheus. Science  Volume: 364   Issue: 6445  Special Issue: SI   Pages: 1053-+
  4. Ge, Huazhi; Zhang, Xi; Fletcher, Leigh N., Orton, G.S., Sinclair,  J., Fernandes, J. Momary, T. et al. (2019) Rotational Light Curves of Jupiter from Ultraviolet to Mid-infrared and Implications for Brown Dwarfs and Exoplanets.  Astronomical Journal, 157   Issue: 2  Article Number: 89  
  5. Sanchez-Lavega, A.; Hueso, R.; Eichstaedt, G.; Orton, G., Rogers, J., Hansen, C.J., Momary, T., et al. (2018) The Rich Dynamics of Jupiter's Great Red Spot from JunoCam: Juno Images.  Astronomical Journal156,   Issue: 4    Article Number: 162
  6. Studwell, Aaron, Li, Liming, Jiang, Xun, Baines, K.H., Fry, P.M., Momary, T.W.,et al. (2018) Saturn's Global Zonal Winds Explored by Cassini/VIMS 5-um Image. Geophysical Research Letters,  45   Issue: 14 , 6823-6831
  7. Baines, K. H.; Sromovsky, L. A.; Fry, P. M., Momary, T.W., et al.  (2018)  The Eye of Saturn's North Polar Vortex: Unexpected Cloud Structures Observed at High Spatial Resolution by Cassini/VIMS.  Geophysical Research Letters,  45 , Issue: 12 , 5867-5875
  8. Grassi, D.; Adriani, A.; Moriconi, M. L.; …, Momary, T., et al. (2018) First Estimate of Wind Fields in the Jupiter Polar Regions From JIRAM-Juno Images.  Geophysical Research Letters-Planets, 123  Issue: 6 1511-1524
  9. Adriani, A, Mura, A. Orton, G., Hansen C.,Altieri, F., Moriconi, M.L., Rogers, J., Eichstadt, G., Momary, al. (2018). Clusters of cyclones encircling Jupiter’s poles. Nature555, 216
  10. Orton, G. S.; Momary, T.; Ingersoll, A. P.; et al., (2017) Multiple-wavelength sensing of Jupiter during the Juno mission's first perijove passage. Geophysical Research Letters44   Issue: 10 , 4607-4614
  11. Sanchez-Lavega, A.; Rogers, J. H.; Orton, G. S.,...,Momary, T.W.,  et al.  (2017)  A planetary-scale disturbance in the most intense Jovian atmospheric jet from JunoCam and ground-based observations. Geophysical Research Letters44 , Issue: 10, 4679-4686
  12. Buratti, B.J., Hofgartner, J.D., Hicks, M.D., Weaver, H.A., Stern, S.A., Momary, T., et al. (2017). Global albedos of Pluto and Charon from LORRI New Horizons observations. Icarus. Volume: 287   Special Issue: SI   Pages: 207-217.
  13. Orton, G.S..,Hansen, C, Caplinger, M, Ravine, M., Atreya, S., Ingersoll, A.P., Jensen, E., Momary, T., et al. (2017). The first close-up images of Jupiter’s polar regions: Results from the Juno Mission JunoCam instrument.  Geophysical Research Letters44, 4599-4606.
  14. Sromovsky, L.A., Baines, K. H., Fry, P. M., Momary, T. W. (2016).  Cloud clearing in the wake of Saturn’s Great Storm of 2010-2011 and suggested new constraints on Saturn’s He/H2 ratio.  Icarus, 276141-162.
  15. Thomas W. Momary, Baines, K. H., and the Cassini/VIMS Science Team (2014). The Anticyclonic Eye of the Storm:  Evolution of Saturn's Great Storm Region and Associated Anticyclone as seen by Cassini/VIMS. Bull. A.A.S, 46, 198.
  16. Kevin H. Baines, Padmavati A. Yanamandra-Fisher, Thomas W. Momary, Glenn S. Orton, Gregorio G. Villar III, Leigh N. Fletcher, Humberto Campins, Andrew S. Rivkin, Michael Shara (2013). The temporal evolution of the July 2009 Jupiter impact cloud. Planetary and Space Science, Volume 77, March 2013, Pages 25-39.
  17. Kevin McGouldrick, Thomas W. Momary, Kevin H. Baines, David H. Grinspoon (2012) Quantification of middle and lower cloud variability and mesoscale dynamics from Venus Express/VIRTIS observations at 1.74 μm Icarus, Volume 217, Issue 2, February 2012, Pages 615-628
  18. Fletcher, L. N., Hesman, B .E., Irwin, P. G. J, Baines, K. H., Momary, T. W. et al. (2011). Thermal Structure and Dynamics of Saturn's Northern Springtime Disturbance. Science, 332, 1413-1417.
  19. Fletcher, L.N, Baines, K .H., Momary, T. W. et al. (2011). Saturn's tropospheric composition and clouds from Cassini/VIMS 4.6-5.1 μm nightside spectroscopy. Icarus, 214, 510-533.
  20. B.J. Buratti, J.M. Bauer, M.D. Hicks, J.A. Mosher, G. Filacchione, T. Momary, K.H. Baines, R.H. Brown, R.N. Clark, P.D. Nicholson (2010). Cassini spectra and photometry 0.25–5.1 μm of the small inner satellites of Saturn. Icarus, Volume 206, Issue 2, April 2010, Pages 524-536.
  21. Baines, K. H., Momary, T. W. et al. (2009) Saturn's north polar cyclone and hexagon at depth revealed by Cassini/VIMS Planetary and Space Science, 57, Issue 14-15, 1671-1681.
  22. Baines, K. H., Momary, T. W. Fletcher, L. N., Showman, A. P., Roos-Serote, M., Brown, R. H., Buratti, B. J., Clark, R. N., (2009). Saturn's north polar cyclone and hexagon at depth revealed by Cassini/VIMS. Planetary and Space Sci., 57, 1671-1681.
  23. Baines, K. H., Delitsky, M.. L., Momary, T. W. Brown, R. H., Buratti, B. J., Clark, R. N., et al. (2009). Storm clouds on Saturn: Lightning-induced chemistry and associated materials consistent with Cassini/VIMS spectra. Planetary and Space Sci. 57, 1650-1658.
  24. McGouldrick, K., Baines, K.H., Momary, T.W., Grinspoon, D.H. (2008). Venus Express/VIRTIS observations of middle and lower cloud variability and implications for dynamics. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, E00B14.
  25. Momary, T. W. Baines, K. H., et al. (2008). Saturn's dynamic atmosphere at depth: physical Characteristics and zonal winds derived from clouds near the 2-bar level and their Dynmical implications from Cassini-Huygens/VIMS. Bull. A. A. S. 40, 472.
  26. Sarah F. Newman, B.J. Buratti, R.H. Brown, R. Jaumann, J. Bauer, T. Momary (2008). Photometric and spectral analysis of the distribution of crystalline and amorphous ices on Enceladus as seen by Cassini. Icarus, Volume 193, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 397-406.
  27. Momary, T. W. Baines, K. H., and the Cassini/VIMS Science Team (2006). The zoology of Saturn: The bizarre features unveiled by the 5-micron eyes of Cassini/VIMS. Bull. A. A. S. 38, 499.
  28. Baines, K. H.,Drossart, P., Lopez-Valverde, M., Atreya, S. K., Sotin, C., Momary, T., et al. (2006). On the discovery of CO nighttime emissions on Titan by Cassini/VIMS: Derived stratospheric abundances and geological implications. Planetary and Space Sci., 54, Issue 15, 1552-1562.
  29. Baines, K. H., Drossart, P., Momary, T. W., et al. (2006). The atmospheres of Saturn and Titan in the near-infrared: First results of Cassini/VIMS. Earth, Moon, and Planets 96, 119-147.
  30. Momary, T. W. Baines, K. H., Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A., Lebofsky, L. A., Golisch, W., and Kaminski, C. (2000). The Saturnian satellites in the near-infrared: absolute photometry at ring plane crossing. Icarus 148, 397-406.
  31. Momary, T. W. Baines, K. H., Yanamandra-Fisher, P.A. et. al (1999). Near infrared absolute photometry of Saturn's satellites at ring plane crossing. Bull. A. A. S. 31
  32. Baines, K. H., Yanamandra-Fisher, P., Lebofsky, L.A., Momary, T.W., et al. (1998). Near-infrared absolute photometric imaging of the Uranian System. Icarus, 132,266-284.