The UCF Planetary Sciences Group uses spacecraft data, images from the world’s most powerful telescopes, meteorites and moon rocks, and supercomputer calculations to investigate fundamental questions like these:
How did our solar system form? What do the surfaces of other worlds tell us about their history? What happens when a comet hits a planet? What’s going on in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets? Are there any other planetary systems like ours? Are we alone?
The Planetary Sciences Group works closely with the Florida Space Institute to grow space research at UCF and throughout Florida.
The department offers a PhD track in Planetary Sciences, a BS specialization and minor in Astronomy, classes, research and employment opportunities at all levels, workshops, Robinson Observatory, astronomical software, planetary seminars, and much more.
Planetary Sciences Faculty
Dr. Michele Montgomery
Research: Close binary stars: eclipsing binaries, Algols, Cataclysmic Variables (CVs), accretion disks, planet formation, brown dwarfs and relations to CVs, polars, intermediate polars, non-magnetic CV systems — Physics Education Research: numerical computation as a mode of learning in general education courses — Astrobiology: Payloads and Plants – Growing Plants in Simulated Martian Soils
Research: mechanics and characterization of planetary regolith
Research: thermal and collisional evolution of comets, asteroids and planets