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Samantha Trumbo

51 Pegasi b Postdoctoral Fellow

Cornell University

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One of the great surprises to come from the spacecraft exploration of our solar system's planets has been the dynamic nature and diversity of several of their satellites, which have proven to be planet-like worlds in their own right. My work focuses on building a deeper understanding of these places by characterizing the chemical and physical processes underlying their unique environments. I am particularly interested in the characterization of “ocean worlds”—satellites that harbor global, subsurface oceans of liquid water and that present some of the most exciting targets for exploring the potential for habitability elsewhere in our solar system. I use an assortment of ground- and space-based telescopes in combination with spacecraft data and modeling techniques in order to investigate how the surfaces of such worlds can inform their geochemical nature, evolution, diversity, and, ultimately, their habitability.