November 2018

Issue 86


Awards in Light Scattering


Dear Colleagues,

This is a friendly reminder that one 2019 Waterman award and one 2019 Goody award will be presented at the 18th Electromagnetic and Light Scattering Conference,  9-14 June 2019, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou city, Zhejiang  province, China.


Both awards are intended to celebrate outstanding contributions by early-career scientists.


The calls for nominations can be found at   


The nomination deadline has been extended to 15 December 2018.


Please consider nominating an outstanding young colleague for one of these awards.


Best regards,

Michael Mishchenko


NASA Postdoctoral Program Opportunity


Solar System Exploration: Optical Scattering Investigations of Environments around Airless Bodies


Opportunity ID 19194

Opportunity URL

Location: Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

Field of Science: Planetary Science

Advisor: Timothy Stubbs, Primary Advisor,

Citizenship Requirement

(1) U.S. Citizens Accepted

(2) Lawful Permanent Residents Accepted

(3) Foreign Nationals Accepted - Note: At this time, GSFC does not accept NPP applications from citizens of designated countries unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S. The Designated Countries List is available at



Observations and analysis of faint light scattering by dust, aerosols and gas near airless bodies provides insight into ejection and transport processes common to these objects. This includes the Moon, the moons of Mars, the giant planet satellites and active (mass shedding) asteroids. An explanation for the putative horizon glow above the Moon detected during the Apollo era remains elusive, but could perhaps have been sunlight scattered by ejecta from meteoroid impacts. Evidence for the lunar ejecta cloud measured by LDEX may be present in the data sets of optical instruments on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), especially the LAMP FUV spectrograph, but no systematic search has been carried out. Analysis of multi-color limb imaging data from the upcoming OSIRIS-REx encounter with asteroid Bennu could reveal the composition and scale of dust plumes from natural impacts, as well as the artificial plume created during the touch-and-go (TAG) sampling event.


To accomplish these research objectives, the candidate applies existing radiative transfer codes, and simulates the optical scattering of sunlight by dust and aerosols, as well as neutral gas line emission from UV to infrared wavelengths. Dust modeling tasks will incorporate the scattering behavior of spherical and non-spherical grains with varying size and shape, as well as the spectral absorption of ice aerosols. A library of grain scattering properties presently exists at GSFC, but this will need to be expanded to larger grain sizes and greater diversity of mineralogies. Some understanding of the optical design of cameras and spectrometers, as well as principles of radiometry and photometry, will be necessary for interpreting existing data sets and making predictions about upcoming observations.