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Faculty Profile

Liming LiLiming Li

Assistant Professor
Department of Physics

Office: Science & Research 1, 530C
Contact: - (713) 743-3283

Education: Ph.D., Caltech, 2006

Google Scholar Profile

Dr. Liming Li’s group is interested in exploring the planetary atmospheres of giant planets and terrestrial planets/satellites by combining observations, theories, and numerical models. Recently, the group is mainly working on two ongoing space missions – Cassini and Juno.

Cassini is a spacecraft exploring Saturn’s system (i.e., Saturn, its satellites, and its rings). As one of the most ambitious missions ever launched into space, Cassini is a joint endeavor of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. Juno is the first polar-orbiting spacecraft to Jupiter, which will improve the understanding of the formation, evolution, and deep structure of the giant planet.

Li’s group is processing and analyzing the data recorded by multiple instruments (e.g., imaging systems, visible/infrared spectrometers, and microwave radiometers) aboard the two spacecrafts (i.e., Cassini and Juno) to advance our knowledge of Jupiter and Saturn. They are also very interested in the atmospheric systems of terrestrial bodies (e.g., Earth, Mars, Venus, and Titan). Li’s long-term scientific plan is to develop a new research field of comparative planetary atmospheres, which will emphasize the comparative studies between Earth and other planets/satellites. Such comparative studies will provide a unique perspective to understand the atmospheric systems and possible climate changes on planets and satellites.

  • Li, L, X. Jiang, H. J. Trammell, Y. Pan, J. Hernandez, B. J. Conrath, P. J. Gierasch, R. K. Achterberg, C. A. Nixon, F. M. Flasar, S. Perez-Hoyos, R. A. West, K. H. Baines, and B. Knowles, Saturn’s giant storm and global radiant energy, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, doi:10.1002/2015GL063763, 201 5.
  • Li, L, Dimming Titan revealed by the Cassini observations. Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/srep08239, 2015.
  • Li, L., R. K. Achterberg, B. J. Conrath, P. J. Gierasch, C. A., Nixon, F. M., Flasar, A. R. Vasavada, A. D. Del Genio, R. A., West, Strong Temporal Variability Over One Saturnian Year: From Voyager to Cassini. Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/srep02410, 2013.
  • Li, L., K. H. Baines, M. A. Smith, R. A. West, S. Pérez-Hoyos, H. J. Trammell, A. Simon-Miller, B. Conrath, P. J. Gierasch, G. S. Orton, C. A. Nixon, G. Filacchione, P. M. Fry, and T. W. Momary, Emitted power of Jupiter based on Cassini CIRS and VIMS observations. J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2012JE004191, 2012.
  • Li, L., X. Jiang, M. T. Chahine, E. T. Olsen, E. Fetzer, L. Chen, Y. L. Yung, Recycling rate of atmospheric moisture over the past two decades. Environmental Research Letters 6, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/3/034017 2011. Please refer to the insight news on the website of the journal of Environmental Research Letters
  • Li, L., X. Jiang, A. P. Ingersoll, A. D. Del Genio, C. C. Porco, R. A. West, A. R. Vasavada, S. P. Ewald, B. J. Conrath, P. J. Gierasch, A. A. Simon-Miller, C. A. Nixon, R. K. Achterberg, G. S. Orton, L. N. Fletcher, K. H. Baines, Equatorial winds on Saturn and the stratospheric oscillation. Nature-Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo1292, 2011. Please refer to the insight news
  • Li, L., C. A. Nixon, R. Achterberg, M. A. Smith, N. J. P. Gorius, X. Jiang, B. Conrath, P. Gierasch, A. A. Simon-Miller, F. M. Flasar, A. P. Ingersoll, K. Baines, R. A.West, A. R. Vasavada, S. P. Ewald, The Global Energy Balance of Titan, Geophys. Res. Lett. 38, Art. No. L23201, 2011. Please refer to the highlight on the website of the American Geophysical Union
    ( paper was also selected to be a cover page of the journal of Geophysical Research Letter
  • Li, L., B. Conrath, P. Gierasch, R. Achterberg, C. A. Nixon, A. A. Simon-Miller, F. M. Flasar, D. Banfield, K. H. Baines, R. A. West, A. R. Vasavada, A. Mamoutkine, M. Segura, G. Bjoraker, G. S. Orton, L. N. Fletcher, P. Irwin, P. Read, Emitted power of Saturn, J. Geophys. Res.,115, E11002, doi:10.1029/2010JE003631, 2010.Please refer to the NASA feature story titled “Saturn is on a cosmic dimmer switch” on NASA website

Honors and Awards:

Selected by NASA to be a participating scientist for three instruments (Composite Infrared Spectrometer, Imaging Science Subsystem, and Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer) on the Cassini spacecraft (2015-).

Selected to be a team associate of the Microwave Radiometer on the Juno spacecraft (2015-).

Organizations, Outreach, Boards, Memberships:

Editor and Panelist

Editor, Scientific Reports journal (Nature Publishing Group)
Panelist, NASA ROSES Proposal Panel


American Geophysical Union
American Astronomical Society
American Meteorology Society