Darrell Strobel


121 Olin Hall
By appointment
Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website
Google Scholar Profile


In 1968, Darrell Strobel joined the Planetary Science Division at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson as a research associate, where he began theoretical studies of planetary atmospheres and continued his research in terrestrial aeronomy. He was promoted to assistant physicist in 1970, and in 1972 to associate physicist. Strobel joined the Naval Research Laboratory's Plasma Physics Division in 1973 as a research physicist responsible for theoretical studies of the Earth's atmosphere. In 1976 he was promoted to the head of the Atmospheric Dynamics Section in the Geophysical and Plasma Dynamics Branch. In 1984, Strobel joined the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences of The Johns Hopkins University as a professor, and also has a joint appointment as professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and is on the principal professional staff of Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. He is the author of more than 195 journal publications and 25 book chapters.

Strobel’s educational background is in physics and he specializes in planetary atmospheres/astrophysics. He studies a broad range of fundamental problems in atmospheric chemistry, dynamics, and radiation pertinent to the atmospheres of the giant planets and their satellites with the goal to understand the global structure of composition, pressure, temperature, and winds. Of particular current interest are magnetospheric plasma interactions with the extended atmospheres of Titan, Triton, Pluto, and the Galilean satellites (Io, Europa, and Ganymede) and investigation of the energy balance, ionospheric structure, and radiative output of their upper atmospheres, and the mass loading rates of the parent planets' magnetospheres. As a co-investigator of the UV Spectrometer Experiment on the Voyager Mission, he led in the identification of N2 as major constituent in the atmospheres of Titan and Triton and the interpretation of UV data in terms of energetics, charge exchange processes, and basic plasma properties of the Io plasma torus. He created, with colleagues Paul Feldman and Warren Moos of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, an active observational program with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) of Jupiter, its Io plasma torus, and the Galilean satellites.

As the Cassini Mission Orbiter Interdisciplinary Scientist for Aeronomy and Solar Wind Interaction, he is currently involved in analysis and interpretation of data being taken on the orbital tour of the Saturnian system, which started in July 2004 and has been extended through 2017. He is also a co-investigator on the New Horizons Pluto Kuiper-belt Mission, which was successfully launched on January 19, 2006, and will arrive at Pluto in July 2015.

In addition to planetary interests, he has pursued research on topics concerning the Earth's atmosphere. His early studies of the Earth's F-region ionosphere led to the recognition of the important role that thermospheric wind systems play in plasma transport and seasonal variations of the electron density. More recently, his interests in terrestrial research have been on the dynamics of the middle atmosphere and the coupling and interaction of chemistry, radiation, and dynamics, including detailed studies of the zonally averaged circulation and minor constituent transport by waves and the mean circulation, which he still pursues with his colleague Xun Zhu of the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory.

Displaying the 20 most recent publications. View the Google Scholar Profile for complete publications list.

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LA Young, JA Kammer, AJ Steffl, GR Gladstone, ME Summers, DF Strobel, ...
Structure and composition of Pluto's atmosphere from the New Horizons solar ultraviolet occultation
Icarus 300, 174-199, 2018

X Zhang, DF Strobel, H Imanaka
Haze heats Pluto’s atmosphere yet explains its cold temperature
Nature 551 (7680), nature24465, 2017

L Young, J Kammer, AJ Steffl, R Gladstone, M Summers, DF Strobel, ...
Pluto's Solar Occultation from New Horizons
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts 49, 2017

X Zhang, DF Strobel, H Imanaka
Haze Heating and Cooling in Pluto's Atmosphere
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts 49, 2017

M Bird, I Linscott, D Hinson, GL Tyler, DF Strobel
Radio Thermal Emission from Pluto and Charon during the New Horizons Encounter
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts 49, 2017

A Cheng, M Summers, GR Gladstone, D Strobel, L Young, P Lavvas, ...
Pluto's Atmospheric Haze
European Planetary Science Congress 11, 2017

DF Strobel, X Zhu
Comparative planetary nitrogen atmospheres: Density and thermal structures of Pluto and Triton
Icarus 291, 55-64, 2017

DP Hinson, IR Linscott, LA Young, GL Tyler, SA Stern, RA Beyer, MK Bird, ...
Radio occultation measurements of Pluto’s neutral atmosphere with New Horizons
Icarus 290, 96-111, 2017

AF Cheng, ME Summers, GR Gladstone, DF Strobel, LA Young, P Lavvas, ...
Haze in Pluto's atmosphere
Icarus 290, 112-133, 2017

CM Lisse, RL McNutt, SJ Wolk, F Bagenal, SA Stern, GR Gladstone, ...
The puzzling detection of x-rays from Pluto by Chandra
Icarus 287, 103-109, 2017

E Lellouch, M Gurwell, B Butler, T Fouchet, P Lavvas, DF Strobel, ...
Detection of CO and HCN in Pluto’s atmosphere with ALMA
Icarus 286, 289-307, 2017

F Musacchio, J Saur, L Roth, KD Retherford, MA McGrath, PD Feldman, ...
Morphology of Ganymede's FUV auroral ovals
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 122 (3), 2855-2876, 2017

CA Nixon, RK Achterberg, A Buch, RN Clark, P Coll, FM Flasar, AG Hayes, ...
Riddles of the Sphinx: Titan Science Questions at the End of Cassini-Huygens
LPI Contributions 1989, 2017

L Roth, J Saur, KD Retherford, A Blöcker, DF Strobel, PD Feldman
Constraints on Io's interior from auroral spot oscillations
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 122 (2), 1903-1927, 2017

O Hartkorn, J Saur, DF Strobel
Structure and density of Callisto’s atmosphere from a fluid-kinetic model of its ionosphere: Comparison with Hubble Space Telescope and Galileo observations
Icarus 282, 237-259, 2017

L Roth, KD Retherford, N Ivchenko, N Schlatter, DF Strobel, TM Becker, ...
Detection of a hydrogen corona in HST Lyα images of Europa in transit of Jupiter
The Astronomical Journal 153 (2), 67, 2017

DF Strobel, T Koskinen, I Mueller-Wodarg
Saturn Variable Thermosphere
arXiv preprint arXiv:1610.07669, 2016

JA Kammer, SA Stern, HA Weaver, L Young, K Ennico, CB Olkin, ...
Stargazing from New Horizons: Ultraviolet Stellar Occultations by Pluto's Atmosphere
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts 48, 2016

AF Cheng, M Summers, R Gladstone, DF Strobel, L Young, P Lavvas, ...
Haze in Pluto's Atmosphere: Implications for Processes and Evolution
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts 48, 2016

P Lavvas, DF Strobel, E Lellouch, MA Gurwell, AF Cheng, M Summers, ...
Photochemical aerosol formation in planetary atmospheres: A comparison between Pluto and Titan
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts 48, 2016