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Linda  Spilker's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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4800 Oak Grove Drive
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Curriculum Vitae:

Linda Spilker
Cassini Project Scientist

  • B.A. in Physics, California State University, Fullerton (1977)
  • M.S. in Physics, California State University, Los Angeles (1983)
  • Ph.D. in (summa cum laude), Geophysics and Space Physics UCLA (1992)

Research Interests
  • Thermal infrared studies of Saturn's rings to address questions of ring evolution
  • Numerical modeling of gravitational waves and wakes in Saturn's rings to estimate local surface mass density and ring mass
  • Acquisition and interpretation of Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) data to determine ring dynamics from thermal behavior as a function of solar and ring geometry


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

Voyager Icon Voyager
Voyager 1 and 2 explored the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and are now investigating interstellar space as they leave the solar system.

Professional Experience

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1977-present)

    Project Work
  • Cassini Project Scientist (2010 - Present)
  • Enceladus Life Finder Proposal Project Scientist, Discovery and NF (2014 – 2018)
  • Cassini Deputy Project Scientist (1997 - 2010)
  • Cassini Mission Scientist (1990 - 1997)
  • Cassini CIRS Investigation Scientist (1990 - 1992)
  • Cassini Assistant Study Scientist (1988 - 1990)
  • Hermes Discovery Mission Proposal Deputy Principal Investigator (1993 - 1998)
  • Voyager IRIS Experiment Representative (1979 - 1990)
  • Voyager IRIS Assistant Experiment Representative (1977 - 1979)
    Science Work
  • Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) Co-Investigator (1990 - present)
  • Visiting Scientist at University of Paris 7 (2001, 2010)
  • Principal Investigator, Cassini Data Analysis Program (CDAP) (2009 - 2012 )
  • Principal Investigator for Ring Structure and Dynamics, OPR (2004 - 2006)
  • Principal Investigator for Planetary Ring Studies in PG&G (1993 - 1997, 1999 - 2002)
  • Co-Investigator on Coherent backscatter opposition effect in PG&G (1990 - 1997)
  • Co-Investigator on compositional mapping of Io using mutual satellite occultations (1990 - 1991)
  • Voyager Photopolarimeter (PPS) Science Associate (1984 - 1990)
  • Voyager Infrared Radiometer & Spectrometer (IRIS) Science Associate (1988 - 1990)

Research Assistant, Geology Department, California Institute of Technology (1975 - 1977)


Selected Awards
  • Cal State University Fullerton Alumna of the Year Award (2018)
  • The Women’s International Film and Television Showcase (The WIFTS) Foundation - Visionary Award (2017)
  • JPL Magellan Award (2014)
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Cassini Project Scientist (2013)
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Voyager IRIS Neptune Encounter (1990) 
  • NASA Group Achievement Awards
    • Cassini CIRS team (2014)
    • Cassini Education and Public Outreach (2014)
    • Wave at Saturn Social Media Campaign Team (2014)
    • Cassini Solstice Pre-Integration Team (2011)
    • Cassini Saturn Target Working Team (2009)
    • Cassini Magnetosphere Target Working Team (2009)
    • Cassini Rings Target Working Team (2009)
    • The Cassini Saturn Tour Flight Team (2009)
    • Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer Team (2009)
    • Cassini Education and Public Outreach Team (2008)
    • Cassini Flight Team (2005)
    • Cassini Jupiter Flyby Team (2000)
    • Cassini CIRS Team (1998)
    • Cassini Public Outreach (1998)
    • Voyager Photopolarimeter Science (1987)
    • Seven (7) NASA Group Achievement Awards for Voyager Mission (1982 - 1989) 
  • Distinguished Alumna Award from California State University, Fullerton (2005) 
  • Hall of Fame Award, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (1999) 
  • ESA Award for contribution to Huygens Probe (1997) 
  • Distinguished Alumna Award for Natural & Social Sciences from California State University at Los Angeles (1996) 
  • California State University Fullerton Dept. of Physics Faculty Prize for Scholarship (1977)

Selected Publications
  1. Dougherty, M. and Spilker, L.   Review of Saturn’s icy moons following the Cassini mission.  IOP Reports on Progress in Physics, submitted.
  2. Spilker, L., Ferrari, C., Altobello, N., Pilorz, S., & Morishima, R. 2018. Thermal Properties of Rings and Ring Particles. In M. Tiscareno & C. Muray (Eds.), Planetary Ring Systems: Properties, Structure, and Evolution (Cambridge Planetary Science, pp. 399-433). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi: 10.1017/9781316286791.015
  3. Déau, E., Spilker, L.; Flandes, A.   Re-analysis of previous laboratory phase curves: 2. Connections between opposition effect morphology and spectral features of stony meteorites.  Icarus, Volume 272, 149-164.
  4. Morishima, R.; Spilker, L.; Brooks, S.; Deau, E.; Pilorz, S.. Incomplete cooling down of Saturn's A ring at solar equinox: Implication for seasonal thermal inertia and internal structure of ring particles.    52 pages, 19 figures, Icarus in press; doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.06.025.
  5. Edgington, S., Spilker, 2016. Cassini’s Grand Finale, Nature Geoscience, Volume 9, Issue 7, 472-473.
  6. Altobelli, N.; Lopez-Paz, D,; Pilorz, S.; Spilker, L..; Morishima, R.; Brooks, S.; Leyrat, C.; Deau, E.; Edgington, S.; Flandes, A.   Two numerical models designed to reproduce Saturn ring temperatures as measured by Cassini-CIRS.  2014.  Icarus, Volume 238, p. 205-220.
  7. Filacchione, G.; Ciarniello, M.; Capaccioni, F.; Clark, R. N.; Nicholson, P. D.; Hedman, M. M.; Cuzzi, J. N.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Dalle Ore, C. M.; Brown, R. H.; Cerroni, P.; Altobelli, N.; Spilker, L.  2014. Cassini-VIMS observations of Saturn's main rings: I. Spectral properties and temperature radial profiles variability with phase angle and elevation. 2014. Icarus, Volume 241, p. 45-65.
  8. Morishima, R., Spilker, L., Turner, N., 2014. Azimuthal temperature modulations of Saturn's A ring caused by self-gravity wakes. Icarus 228, 247-229.
  9. Spilker, L., C. Ferrari, R. Morishima. Saturn’s ring temperatures at equinox.  2013, Icarus 226, 316-322.
  10. Déau, Estelle; Flandes, Alberto; Spilker, Linda J.; Petazzoni, Jérôme.   Re-analysis of previous laboratory phase curves: 1. Variations of the opposition effect morphology with the textural properties, and an application to planetary surfaces.  Icarus, Volume 226, Issue 2, p. 1465-1488.
  11. Morishima, R., Spilker, L., Edgington, S. Regolith grain sizes of Saturn's rings inferred from Cassini-CIRS far-infrared spectra.  Icarus, Volume 222, Issue 2, 888-899.
  12. Christophe, B, J. Spilker, J.D. Anderson, N. Andre et al. OSS (Outer Solar System): a fundamental and planetary physics mission to Neptune, Triton and the Kuiper Belt. 2012. Experimental Astronomy, Volume 34, Issue 2, 203-242.
  13. Morishima, R., Spilker, L., Ohtsuki, Keiji.  A multilayer model for thermal infrared emission of Saturn's rings III: Thermal inertia inferred from Cassini CIRS.  2011, Icarus, Volume 215, Issue 1, 107-127.
  14. Flandes, Alberto; Krüger, Harald; Hamilton, Douglas P.; Valdés-Galicia, J. Francisco; Spilker, Linda; Caballero, Rogelio.   Magnetic field modulated dust streams from Jupiter in interplanetary space.  Planetary and Space Science, Volume 59, Issue 13, p. 1455-1471.
  15. Morishima, R., Spilker, H. Salo, K. Ohtsuki, N. Altobelli, S. Pilorz. A multilayer model for thermal infrared emission of Saturn's rings II: Albedo, spins, and vertical mixing of rings. 2010, Icarus, Volume 210, Issue 1, 330-345.
  16. Flandes, A., Spilker, , R. Morishima, S. Pilorz, C. Leyrat, N. Altobelli, S. Brooks, S. Edgington, Brightness properties of Saturn's rings with decreasing solar elevation, 2010, Planetary and Space Science, Volume 58, Issue 13, 1758 - 1765.
  17. Cuzzi, J.N., J. A. Burns, S. Charnoz, R. N. Clark, J. E. Colwell, L. Dones, L. W. Esposito, G. Filacchione, R. G. French, M. M. Hedman, S. Kempf, E. A. Marouf, C. D. Murray, P. D. Nicholson, C. C. Porco, J. Schmidt, M. R. Showalter, J. Spilker, J. N. Spitale, R. Srama, M. Sremčević, M. S. Tiscareno, J. Weiss. An Evolving View of Saturn's Dynamic Rings. 2010. Science, Volume 327, 1470 -
  18. Cuzzi, J, R. Clark, G. Filacchione, R. French, R. Johnson, E. Marouf, Spilker. Ring Particle Composition and Size Distribution, 2009, in M. Dougherty, L. Esposito and T. Krimigis, eds., Saturn from Cassini-Huygens, Dordrecht, Springer, ISBN 978-1-4020-9216-9, 459 - 509.
  19. Altobelli, N., Spilker, C. Leyrat, S. Pilorz, S. Edgington, A. Flandes, Thermal phase curves observed in Saturn's main rings by Cassini CIRS. Vol. 36, L10105, 2009.
  20. Coustenis, A. et al., TandEM: Titan and Enceladus mission, Astron, 2009, 23:893-946.
  21. Ferrari, C., Brooks S., Edgington S., Leyrat C., Pilorz S. and Spilker L., Structure of self-gravity wakes in Saturn's A ring as measured by Cassini CIRS, 2009, Icarus, Volume 199, Issue 1, 145-153.
  22. Spilker, L. Saturn Revolution. 2008. Astronomy 36, No. 10, 34 - 39.
  23. Leyrat C., Ferrari C., Charnoz S., Decriem J., Spilker L. J., Pilorz S. H., Spinning particles in Saturn's C ring: Pre-Cassini results, 2008, Icarus, Volume 196, Issue 2, p. 625-641.
  24. Altobelli, N., J. Spilker, C. Leyrat, S. Pilorz, 2008. Thermal observations of Saturn's main rings by Cassini CIRS: Phase, emission and solar elevation dependence, Planetary and Space Science, 56, 134-146.
  25. Leyrat, C., J. Spilker, N. Altobelli, S. Pilorz, C. Ferrari, 2008. Infrared observations of Saturn's rings by Cassini CIRS : Phase angle and local time dependence, Planetary and Space Science, 56 (2008) 117-133.
  26. Coustenis, A., S. Atreya, C. Ferrari, Spilker. 2008. Surfaces and atmospheres of the outer planets, their satellites and ring systems. Planetary and Space Science, 56, 1-2.
  27. Altobelli, N., Spilker, S. Pilorz, S. Brooks, S. Edgington, B. Wallis, M. Flasar, 2007. C ring fine structures revealed in the thermal infrared, Icarus, 191, 691-701.
  28. Spilker, L. J., S. H. Pilorz, B. D. Wallis, J. C. Pearl, J. N. Cuzzi, S. M. Brooks, N. Altobelli, S. G. Edgington, M. Showalter, F. M. Flasar, C. Ferrari, C. Leyrat, 2006. Cassini Thermal Observations of Saturn's main rings: Implications for particle rotation and vertical mixing, Planetary and Space Science, 54, Issue 12, 1167-1176.
  29. Spilker, L.J. 2006. Close Encounters with Saturn. 2006 Science Year, World Book, Inc., 12-27. Lead Article.
  30. Coustenis, Athena; Atreya, Sushil; Ferrari, Cécile; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Matson, Dennis; Spilker, Linda; Strobel, Darrell. 2006. Surfaces and atmospheres of the outer planets, their satellites and ring systems. Planetary and Space Science, 54, 1115-1116.
  31. Miner, E.D., Matson, D. L., and Spilker, L.J. Cassini at Saturn: The First Results. Chapter 9 in Solar System Update, Praxis Publishing, Ltd., 217 - 249.
  32. Spencer, J. R.; J. C. Pearl, M. Segura, F. M. Flasar, A. Mamoutkine, P. Romani, B. J. Buratti, A. R. Hendrix, J. Spilker, R. M. Lopes, 2006. Cassini Encounters Enceladus: Background and the Discovery of a South Polar Hot Spot. Science, Vol. 311, Issue 5766, 1401-1405.
  33. Spilker, L., S. Pilorz, B. Wallis, S. Edgington, S. Brooks, J. Pearl, J., F. Flasar, 2005. Cassini CIRS Observations of a Roll-off in Saturn Ring Spectra at Submillimeter Wavelengths. Earth, Moon and Planets, Volume 96, Issue 3-4, 149-163.
  34. Coustenis, A., C. Ferrari, S. K. Atreya, J. Spilker, 2005. Special issue on the "Surfaces and atmospheres of the outer planets, their satellites and ring systems". Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 53, Issue 5, 459-460.
  35. Flasar, F. M., J. Spilker,..., 2005. Titan's Atmospheric Temperatures, Winds, and Composition. Science, Vol. 308, Issue 5724, 975-978.
  36. Flasar, F. M.. ... J. Spilker,... 2005. Temperatures, Winds, and Composition in the Saturnian System. Science, Vol. 307, Issue 5713, 1247-1251.
  37. Spilker, L.J., S. Pilorz, A.L. Lane, R.M. Nelson B. Pollard, and C. T. Russell. 2004. Saturn A ring surface mass densities from spiral density wave dispersion behavior. Icarus 171, 372 - 390.
  38. Hansen, C. J., S. J. Bolton, D. L. Matson, J. Spilker, J.-P. Lebreton, 2004. The Cassini-Huygens flyby of Jupiter. Icarus, Vol. 172, Issue 1, 1-8.
  39. Bolton, S. J., C. J. Hansen, D. L. Matson, J. Spilker, J.-P. Lebreton, 2004. Cassini/Huygens flyby of the Jovian system. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 109, Issue A9.
  40. Coustenis, A., J. Spilker, S. Atreya, C. Ferrari, 2004. Surfaces and atmospheres of the outer planets, their satellites and ring systems. Planetary and Space Science, Volume 51, Issue 14-15, 1-2.
  41. Flasar, F.M. ..., J. Spilker... and Cassini CIRS team. 2004. An intense stratospheric jet on Jupiter. Nature, Vol. 427, 132-135.
  42. Kunde, V. G. ...,J. Spilker... and Cassini CIRS team. 2004. Jupiter's atmospheric composition from the Cassini thermal infrared spectroscopy experiment. Science, Vol. 305, Issue 5690, 1582-1587.
  43. Flasar, F.M., ...J. Spilker, and Cassini CIRS team. 2004. Exploring the Saturn System in the thermal infrared: The Composite Infrared Spectrometer. Space Science Rev., Vol. 114, Nos. 1-4, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 169-297.
  44. Lebreton, J.-P.; Sollazzo, C.; Blancquaert, T.; Witasse, O.; Huygens Mission Team; Maize, E.; Matson, D.; Mitchell, R.; Spilker, L.; Flamini, E.; Talevi, M. 2004. High ambitions for an outstanding planetary mission: Cassini-Huygens. ESA Bulletin, No. 120, 10 - 21.
  45. Spilker, L.J., C. Ferrari, J. Cuzzi, M. Showalter, J. Pearl and B. Wallis. 2003. Saturn's Rings in the Thermal Infrared. Planetary and Space Science (Special Issue: Surfaces and Atmospheres of the Outer Planets, their Satellites and Ring Systems), Vol. 51, Issues 14-15, 929-935.
  46. Matson, D.L., J. Spilker and J-P. Lebreton. 2003. The Cassini/Huygens Mission to the Saturnian System. The Cassini-Huygens Mission, Vol. 1, Space Sci. Rev., Vol. 104, Nos. 1-4, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1-58.
  47. Cuzzi, J. N., J. E. Colwell, L. W. Esposito, C. C. Porco, C. D. Murray, P. D. Nicholson, Spilker, E. A. Marouf, R. C. French, N. Rappaport, and D. Muhleman 2003. Saturn's Rings: Pre-Cassini Status and Mission Goals. The Cassini-Huygens Mission, Vol. 1, Space Sci. Rev., Vol. 104, Nos. 1-4, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 191-208.
  48. Nelson, R.M., B.W. Hapke, W.D. Smythe, and J. Horn. 1998. Phase curves of selected particulate materials: The contribution of coherent backscattering to the opposition surge. Icarus 131, 223-230.
  49. Spilker, L.J., Ed., 1997. Passage to a Ringed World, NASA SP-533.
  50. Spilker, L.J., Ed. 1997. Cassini/Huygens: A Mission to the Saturnian System. SPIE 2803.
  51. Horn, L.J., 1997, Planetary rings, in Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences, ed. J.H. Shirley and R.W. Fairbridge, Chapman & Hall, 602-607.
  52. Horn, L.J. and J.N. Cuzzi. 1996. Characteristic wavelengths of irregular structure in Saturn's B ring. Icarus, 119, 285-310.
  53. Horn, L.J., M.R. Showalter, and C.T. Russell. 1996. Detection and behavior of Pan wakes. Icarus, 124, 663-676.
  54. Horn, L.J., R.M. Nelson, W.D. Smythe, and B.W. Hapke. 1996. Coherent backscatter opposition effect from Saturn ring particles and their regoliths. Physics, Chemistry and Dynamics of Interplanetary Dust, ASP Conference Series, Volume 104, Bo A.S. Gustafson and Martha S. Hanner, eds., pp. 443-446.
  55. Nelson, R.M., B.D. Wallis, E.S. Barker, J. Horn, W.D. Smythe, A.L. Lane, B.W. Hapke. 1996. Compositional mapping of Jupiter's satellite Io utilizing high speed multifilter photometry during mutual satellite occultations, 1990-1991. Icarus, 123, 568-577.
  56. Kunde, V.G.,... J. Horn, and Cassini CIRS team. 1996. Cassini Infrared Fourier Spectroscopic Investigation. SPIE Vol. 2803.
  57. Horn, L.J., Ed. 1996 Cassini/Huygens: A Mission to the Saturnian System. SPIE 2803.
  58. Nelson, R.M., A.L. Lane, M.E. Morrill, J. Horn, and B.J. Buratti. 1992. The brightness of Jupiter's satellite Io following emergence from eclipse: Selected observations, 1981-1989. Icarus, 101, 223-233.
  59. Hui, J., J. Horn, and A.L. Lane. 1991. Particle sizes of the Uranian delta ring's inner diffuse companion through comparison of RSS and PPS Voyager occultation data. Icarus, 93, 347-353.
  60. Colwell, J.E., J. Horn, A.L. Lane, L.W. Esposito, P.A. Yanamandra-Fisher, S.H. Pilorz, K.E. Simmons, M.D. Morrison, C.W. Hord, R.M. Nelson, B.D. Wallis, R.A. West, and B.J. Buratti. 1990. Voyager photopolarimeter observations of Uranian ring occultations. Icarus, 83, 102-125.
  61. Horn, L.J., J. Hui, A.L. Lane, and J.E. Colwell. 1990. Observations of Neptunian rings by the Voyager photopolarimeter. GRL, 17(10), 1745-1748.
  62. Nelson, R.M., W.D. Smythe, B.D. Wallis, J. Horn, A.L. Lane, and M.J. Mayo. 1990. Temperature and thermal emissivity of the surface of Neptune's satellite Triton. Science, 250, 429-431.
  63. Nelson, R.M., B.J. Buratti, B.D. Wallis, W.D. Smythe, J. Horn, A.L. Lane, and M.J. Mayo. 1990. Spectral geometric albedo and bolometric bond albedo of Neptune's satellite, Triton from Voyager observations. Geophys. Res. Let., 17, 1761-1764.
  64. Conrath, B., F.M. Flasar, R. Hanel, V. Kunde, M. Maguire, J. Pearl, J. Pirraglia, R. Samuelson, P. Gierasch, A. Weir, B. Bezard, D. Gautier, D. Cruikshank, J. Horn, R. Springer, and W. Shaffer. 1989. Infrared observations of the Neptunian system. Science, 246, 1454-1459.
  65. Lane, A.L., R. West, C. Hord, R. Nelson, K. Simmons, W. Pryor, L. Esposito, Horn, B. Wallis, B. Buratti, T. Brophy, P. Yanamandra-Fisher, J. Colwell, D. Bliss, M. Mayo, and W. Smythe. 1989. Photometry from Voyager 2: Initial results from the Neptunian atmosphere, satellites and rings. Science, 246, 1450-1454.
  66. Horn, L.J., P.A. Yanamandra-Fisher, L.W. Esposito, and A.L. Lane. 1988. Physical properties of Uranian delta ring from a possible density wave. Icarus, 76, 485-492.
  67. Hanel, R., B. Conrath, F. M. Flasar, V. Kunde, W. Maguire, J. Pearl, J. Pirraglia, R. Samuelson, D. Cruikshank, D. Gautier, P. Gierasch, J. Horn, and P. Schulte. 1986. Infrared observations of the Uranian system. Science, 233,70-74.
  68. Lane, A.L., C.W. Hord, R.A. West, L.W. Esposito, K.E. Simmons, R.M. Nelson, B.D. Wallis, B.J. Buratti,J. Horn, A.L. Graps, and W.R. Pryor. 1986. Photometry from Voyager 2: Initial results from the Uranian atmosphere, satellites and rings. Science, 23, 65-70.
  69. Graps, A.L., A.L. Lane, J. Horn, and K.E. Simmons. 1984. Evidence for material between Saturn's A and F rings from Voyager 2 photopolarimeter experiment. Icarus, 60, 409-415.
  70. Hanel, R., B. Conrath, F. Flasar, V. Kunde, W. Maguire, J. Pearl, R. Samuelson, D. Cruikshank, D. Gautier, P. Gierasch, J. Horn, and C. Ponnamperuma. 1982. Infrared observations of the Saturnian system from Voyager 2. Science, 215, 544-548.
  71. Hanel, R., B. Conrath, F.M. Flasar, V. Kunde, W. Maguire, J. Pearl, J. Pirraglia, R. Samuelson, L. Herath, M. Allison, D. Cruikshank, D. Gautier, P. Gierasch, J. Horn, R. Koppany and C. Ponnamperuma. 1981. Infrared observations of the Saturnian sys¬tem from Voyager 1. Science, 212, 192-200.
  72. Hanel, R., B. Conrath, M. Flasar, L. Herath, V. Kunde, P. Lowman, W. Maguire, J. Pearl, J. Pirraglia, R. Samuelson, D. Gautier, P. Gierasch, S. Kumar, J. Horn, and C. Ponnamperuma. 1979. Infrared observations of the Jovian system from Voyager 2. Science, 206, 952-956.
  73. Woolum, D., Bies-Horn, L., Burnett, D., August, L.S. 1979. Bismuth and 208Pb microdistributions in enstatite condrites. Geochimica et Cosmochima Acta 43, 1819-1828.

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