Darrell Strobel


121 Olin Hall
By appointment
Curriculum Vitae
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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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E Lellouch, M Gurwell, B Butler, T Fouchet, P Lavvas, DF Strobel, ...
Detection of CO and HCN in Pluto’s atmosphere with ALMA
Icarus, 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

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, 2016

CM Lisse, RL McNutt, SJ Wolk, F Bagenal, SA Stern, GR Gladstone, ...
The puzzling detection of x-rays from Pluto by Chandra
Icarus, 2016

B Bézard, P Lavvas, P Rannou, C Sotin, D Strobel, RA West, R Yelle
Titan Aeromony and Climate Workshop
Titan Aeronomy and Climate, 2016

DF Strobel, X Zhu
Comparative Planetary Nitrogen Atmospheres: Titan, Triton and Pluto
Titan Aeronomy and Climate, 2016

B Bézard, P Lavvas, P Rannou, C Sotin, D Strobel, RA West, R Yelle
Titan Aeromony and Climate Workshop, held 27-29 June, 2016 in Reimes, Champagne-Ardenne, France. Online at http://planeto. univ-reims. fr/tac

L Roth, N Ivchenko, K Retherford, N Cunningham, P Feldman, J Saur, ...
New HST observations of Ceres in the search for exospheric emissions
EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 18, 4559, 2016

L Roth, N Ivchenko, KD Retherford, NJ Cunningham, PD Feldman, J Saur, ...
Constraints on an exosphere at Ceres from Hubble Space Telescope observations
Geophysical Research Letters 43 (6), 2465-2472, 2016

F Bagenal, M Horányi, DJ McComas, RL McNutt, HA Elliott, ME Hill, ...
Pluto’s interaction with its space environment: Solar wind, energetic particles, and dust
Science 351 (6279), aad9045, 2016

GR Gladstone, SA Stern, K Ennico, CB Olkin, HA Weaver, LA Young, ...
The atmosphere of Pluto as observed by New Horizons
Science 351 (6279), aad8866, 2016

ME Summers, GR Gladstone, SA Stern, K Ennico, CB Olkin, HA Weaver, ...
The Neutral Atmospheres of Pluto and Charon
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 47, 2864, 2016

AF Cheng, ME Summers, GR Gladstone, DF Strobel, LA Young, P Lavvas, ...
Haze Layers in Pluto's Atmosphere
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 47, 2316, 2016

DJ McComas, HA Elliott, S Weidner, P Valek, EJ Zirnstein, F Bagenal, ...
Pluto's interaction with the solar wind
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2016

L Roth, J Saur, KD Retherford, DF Strobel, PD Feldman, MA McGrath, ...
Europa's far‐ultraviolet oxygen aurora from a comprehensive set of HST observations
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2016

KD Retherford, GR Gladstone
Pluto's Extended Atmosphere: New Horizons Alice Lyman-alpha Imaging
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts 47, 2015

TT Koskinen, BR Sandel, RV Yelle, DF Strobel, ICF Müller-Wodarg, ...
Saturn’s variable thermosphere from Cassini/UVIS occultations
Icarus 260, 174-189, 2015

SA Stern, F Bagenal, K Ennico, GR Gladstone, WM Grundy, ...
The Pluto system: Initial results from its exploration by New Horizons
Science 350 (6258), aad1815, 2015