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Julianne I. Moses
SSI Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Julianne (Julie) Moses is a planetary scientist who investigates physical and chemical processes in planetary and satellite atmospheres, with an emphasis on giant-planet and extrasolar-planet chemistry, aerosol formation and dynamics, upper atmospheric structure, and atmosphere-surface interactions.

Her current research related to CEPS focuses on the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres -- their composition, chemistry, structure, and bulk properties -- from comparisons of theoretical models with spectra and photometric data from transit and eclipse observations.   Her primary theoretical tool is a state-of-the-art thermochemical and photochemical kinetics and transport model that can transition accurately from the thermochemical-equilibrium regime in the deep troposphere of these planets to the "quenched" disequilibrium and photochemical regimes in the upper troposphere and stratosphere.  She investigates how disequilibrium processes like transport-induced quenching and photochemistry can affect the atmospheric composition and spectral behavior, and how orbital distance, stellar properties, transport characteristics, and bulk atmospheric properties like the carbon-to-oxygen ratio or overall abundance of heavy volatile elements can profoundly affect the atmospheric composition, leading to the amazing diversity of exoplanet atmospheric characteristics observed to date.  Her research also has implications with respect to the formation and evolution of exoplanetary systems, through the clues provided by the bulk atmospheric characteristics.

Artist's conception of the hot Neptune GJ 436b
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Diverse atmospheric composition on hot Neptunes
from Moses et al. (2013), Astrophys. J., 777, 34
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