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Mark Hofstadter

Photo of Mark Hofstadter


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 183-301

Pasadena, CA 91109





Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Planetary And Exoplanetary Atmospheres


Dr. Mark Hofstadter is a Planetary Scientist working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. His research focuses on the atmospheres of planets, primarily the giants of the outer solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), and on comets. Dr. Hofstadter uses both ground- and space-based radio telescopes in the course of his work. He is the Principal Investigator for MIRO (Microwave Instrument on the Rosetta Orbiter),which flew alongside a comet as part of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. He also works with the Goldstone-Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) program. GAVRT is a partnership between scientists and educators that allows middle- and high-school students to carry out real scientific research as part of their math and science classes.


  • B.S., Physics, Stanford University (1984)
  • M.S., Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology (1987)
  • Ph.D., Planetary Science (Electrical Engineering minor), California Institute of Technology (1992)

Professional Experience

  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1986-Present)
    • Principal Investigator for MIRO, the Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter (2015 to present)
    • Principal- or Co-Investigator in several NASA Research and Analysis Programs, including PAST, SSW, RDAP, CDAP, and PICASSO (2003 - Present)
    • Discipline Program Scientist for ROSES R&A proposals (2019 - Present)
    • Deputy Principal Investigator for MIRO (2010 - 2015)
    • Lead Scientist, Goldstone-Apple Valley Radio Telescope (2005 - 2010)
    • Deputy Section Manager, Planetary and Life Detection Section (2003-2005)
    • Ph.D. Thesis Advisor and Summer Research Advisor for Students (Various times, 1996-Present)
    • Instrument Scientist for the AIRS Visible/Near-IR System (1996-2003)
    • Resident Research Associate, National Research Council (1991-1994)
  • Board of Directors, Lewis Center for Educational Research (2006 - 2009)
  • California Institute of Technology (1986-1991)
    • Research Assistant (1986-1991)
    • Teaching Assistant, courses in planetary radio astronomy and atmospheric dynamics (1987-1988)
  • Senior Field Engineer, Allied-Bendix Aerospace (1984-1985)
  • Laboratory Instructor, Undergraduate observational astronomy class, Stanford University (1983-1984)

Community Service

  • Member of the Outer Planet Assessment Group Steering Committee (2014 - Present)
  • Steering Committee of the International Outer Planets Watch (2012 to 2018)
  • Organizer of international scientific conferences and workshops (2006 - Present)Member of the Herschel Space Telescope Calibration Working Group (2004 - 2009)Peer reviewer for NASA and Italian Space Agency research grants, national telescope facility observing proposals, professional journals and books, and for JPL internal programs (1995 - Present)

Research Interests

  • Microwave observations of planetary atmospheres and of comets.
  • The structure and seasonal variability of Uranus' atmosphere.
  • The structure and evolution of the nucleus and coma of comets.

Selected Awards

  • NASA Group Achievement Awards:
    • Venus Balloon Experiment (1985)
    • AIRS (2003)
    • Aqua (2003)
    • MIRO (2005, 2011)
    • Juno (2012)
    • NPP (2012)
    • Rosetta (2015)

Selected Publications

  1. Hofstadter, M.D., L.N. Fletcher, A.A. Simon, A. Masters, D. Turrini, C.S. Arridge. Future Missions to the Giant Planets that can Advance Atmospheric Science Objectives. Space Sci. Rev. 216:91 (2020).
  2. Atreya, S.K., M.D. Hofstadter, J.H. In, O. Mousis, K. Reh, M.H. Wong. Deep Atmosphere Composition, Structure, Origin, and Exploration, with Particular Focus on Critical in situ Science at the Icy Giants. Space Sci. Rev. 216:18 (2020).
  3. Hofstadter, M., A. Simon, S. Atreya, D. Banfield, J.J. Fortney, A. Hayes, M. Hedman, G. Hospodarsky, K. Mandt, A. Masters, M. Showalter, K.M. Soderlund, D. Turrini, E. Turtle, K.Reh, J. Elliott, N. Arora, A. Petropoulos, and the Ice Giant Mission Study Team. Uranus and Neptune missions: A study in advance of the next Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Plan. Sp. Sci. 177 (2019).
  4. Atreya, S.K., M.D. Hofstadter, K.R. Reh, J.H. In. Icy giant planet exploration: Are entry probes essential? Acta Astronautica 162, 266-274 (2019).
  5. Biver, N., M. Hofstadter, S. Gulkis, D. Bockelée-Morvan, M. Choukroun, E. Lellouch, F.P. Schloerb, L. Rezac, W.H. Ip, C. Jarchow, P. Hartogh, S. Lee, P. von Allmen, J. Crovisier, C. Leyrat, P. Encrenaz.  Distribution of Water around the Nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 3.4 AU from the Sun as seen by the MIRO Instrument on Rosetta.  Astron. and Astrophys. 583, A3:1-7 (2015).
  6. Lee, S., M. Hofstadter, M. Frerking, S. Gulkis, P. von Allmen, J. Crovisier, N. Biver, D. Bockelée-Morvan, L. Kamp, M. Choukroun, S. Keihm, M. Janssen.  Submillimeter Observations of Water Vapor at 557 GHz in Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR). Icarus 239, 141-153 (2014).
  7. Keihm, S., L. Kamp, S. Gulkis, M. Hofstadter, S. Lee, M. Janssen, M. Choukroun.  Reconciling Main Belt Asteroid Spectral Flux Density Measurements with a Self-Consistent Thermophysical Model. Icarus 226, 1086-1102 (2013).
  8. Klein, M.J. and M.D. Hofstadter. Long-term Variations in the Microwave Brightness Temperature of the Uranus Atmosphere. Icarus 184, 170-180 (2006).
  9. Janssen, M.A., M.D. Hofstadter, S. Gulkis, A.P. Ingersoll, M. Allison, S.J. Bolton, S.M. Levin, and L.W. Kamp. Microwave Remote Sensing of Jupiter's Atmosphere from an Orbiting Spacecraft. Icarus, 173, 447-453 (2005).
  10. Hofstadter, M.D. and B.J. Butler. Seasonal Change in the Deep Atmosphere of Uranus. Icarus, 165, 168-180 (2003).
  11. Gautier, C., S. Yang, and M. Hofstadter. AIRS/Vis Near IR Instrument. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 41, 330-342 (2002).
  12. Hofstadter, M.D., P. Hartogh, J.P. McMullin, R.N. Martin, C. Jarchow, and W. Peters. A Search for Variability in the HCN to H2CO Ratio in Comet Hale-Bopp. Earth, Moon, and Planets, 78, 53-61 (1999).
  13. Hofstadter, M.D. and B.C. Murray 1990.  Ice Sublimation and Rheology: Implications for the Martian Polar Layered Deposits.  Icarus  84, 352–361.